New York State’s governor, Andrew Mark Cuomo, although in office since 2011 is just now deciding to close New York’s Indian Point nuclear plant by the year 2021.
Fascist Andy wants to replace nuclear power with expensive offshore wind turbines, construction of which he wants completed by 2030.
Cuomo claims that the decision to shutter Indian Point is because the nuclear plant which first opened in 1974 is too close to New York City, i.e., “a major population,” something which no one living in the NYC disagrees but whose concerns about the plant were ignored by Cuomo and governors before him, one of which is his father, Mario Cuomo.
We’ve seen this dance before. The shuttering of Indian Point has absolutely nothing to do with the hazards that the plant presents and everything to do with fascist Andy (i) paying back his donors and (ii) filling his campaign coffers.
For Entergy, the owner of Indian Point, the decision to shutter the plant had much to do with loss of revenue brought about by a decrease in cost of electricity from $36 a megawatt-hour to $28 resulting in a loss hundreds of millions in revenue annually.
As a result of the closing, New York State will drop its legal challenges against Entergy.
New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo is shuttering N.Y.’s Indian Point nuclear plant by 2021 and is proposing to replace that power with 2,400 megawatts[i] of expensive offshore wind turbines that he wants constructed by 2030. New York’s renewable energy mandate requires 50 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy by that date. Indian Point, which is located about 30 miles north of New York City, produces about a quarter of the electricity used in New York City and Westchester County. Gov. Cuomo wants to shutter the plant because he believes that operating a nuclear plant so close to a major population center is a potential safety hazard.[ii]
Indian Point is just the latest deal to emerge as part of a broader trend to move away form low-cost, reliable nuclear power and towards expensive and intermittent renewables. Last year, Pacific Gas & Electric proposed to shutter the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant and replace its output with a combination of wind, solar, and energy storage. New York is now following California’s lead.
According to the New York Independent System Operator, Indian Point’s closure would have effects on reliability that would continue through 2026 unless there is adequate replacement power. Some of those reliability issues may be resolved as other “dispatchable” electricity generating resources come online over the next four years when the two nuclear units are taken off line.[iii]
Replacing 2,000 megawatts of reliable nuclear power, however, with 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind—much of which will come online 9 years after the nuclear plant is shuttered—makes little sense. Building new offshore wind is over 6 times more expensive than operating an existing nuclear plant. And even though offshore wind tends to have a slightly higher capacity factor than onshore wind, it is still less than half the capacity factor for nuclear power. In other words, the amount of energy one gets from 2,000 megawatts offshore wind is about half that compared to the output of the same 2,000 megawatts of nuclear. So, New York will have to build other capacity that is both more reliable and less expensive than offshore wind to replace Indian Point. Obviously, electricity prices will increase for the area’s residents. This should be concerning to New York’s elected officials given that New York’s electricity rates are already over 40 percent higher than the national average.
Just when New Yorkers thought that our energy bills could get no higher, fascist Andy decides to do the bidding of his political donors.
H/t Canada Free Press.
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