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New York on brink of decision to bail out nuclear industry

taxpayer bailoutNew York to Decide on $500 Million-a-Year Nuclear Power Lifeline,   jpolson9  Bloomberg, 29 July 16 

  • Upstate reactors may close if state bailout plan fails
  • Critics say subsidies will undermine clean energy goals
  • New York is poised to decide whether customers should spend about $500 million a year to save its money-losing nuclear reactors.

    If New York approves the subsidies Monday, it would be the first state to throw such a lifeline to nuclear plants and the emission-free power they produce. The proposal is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s initiative to get half the state’s power from renewable sources by 2030. It’s a far cry from the approach in other states where reactors are being allowed to fail under their own weight.

    Nuclear aid is among controversial measures the state Public Service Commission is weighing as renewable power becomes a larger part of its power portfolio. New York is also considering changes to regulations that require utilities to buy back excess power from homeowners and businesses with rooftop solar panels. So-called net metering rules have pitted utilities against renewable energy developers in states across the U.S.

  • “The public service commission and the governor intend to throw away billions of dollars on uneconomical, dirty nuclear plants when we should be investing in renewables and efficiency,” Jessica Azulay, program director for the Alliance for a Green Economy, based in Syracuse, New York, said by phone July 28. “New York needs a plan for a real long-term decarbonization of our energy system, not short-sighted bailouts.”

    Market Signals

    Exelon Corp. said it may close its Ginna and Nine Mile Point 1 units before their licenses expire unless subsidies are approved by September. Entergy Corp. plans to shut its FitzPatrick reactor around year-end, though Exelon said it’s willing to buy that plant and keep it running if subsidies are approved. Both companies back the proposal.

    Others aren’t so sure. Independent power producers say the financial aid will put them at a disadvantage by making their product more costly by comparison.

    “The competitive market is signaling that the nuclear facilities should be retired,” according to a filing by a group that includes Calpine Corp. and Dynegy Inc.

     The proposal would be a “a blatant exercise of buyer-side market power,” and would suppress revenue for other generators according to the filing………

July 30, 2016 - Posted by | politics, USA

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