Skip to main content

No Need for a Cayuga Repowering

August 26, 2015

Dave Lucas for WMAC:

The Cayuga Power Plant in Tompkins County has, since 2013, been seeking state approval to convert from coal to a cheaper alternative: natural gas, at a cost estimated to be in the millions, which would be subsidized over a 10-year period by utility customers.

Former New York State deputy comptroller Tom Sanzillo co-authored an Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis report that finds the coal-to-gas conversion “economically unviable” and warns it would create a long-term drain on ratepayers, while creating a “fiscal challenge” for the Lansing school district, the Town of Lansing, Tompkins County and two service districts, which would amount to an annual loss of $1.8 million.

“It’s often we think that the best fix to energy solutions are always new power plants and new uses. We’re actually looking at a transmission fix which would allow alternative existing power plants to supply the energy.”

Sanzillo says the report found subsidizing the plant would do little to ensure the reliability of electric supplies in the Ithaca area. An Earthjustice attorney suggested “New York cannot credibly claim to be a leader in renewable energy while propping up fossil fuel plants.”

New Yorkers Rally Against Coal Bailout

Join our newsletter

Keep up to date with all the latest from IEEFA