Coalition has ambitious plan for NRG Dunkirk

Jul 13, 2012 Full story: Observer 73

Currently a coal-fired facility, the plant underwent over $200 million in backend control updates that were finished before natural gas became a low-cost generating fuel - putting the Dunkirk operation at a disadvantage.

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Really

Clarence, NY

#1 Jul 13, 2012
Its awesome to see a proactive plan coming together for NRG, instead of them just waving the white flag. However, out of curiosity, the $200 million they put into the plant a few short years ago, now is viewed as a bad decision obviously. How much did that bad business decision cost us taxpayers? Maybe not in straight moneys to the $200, but maybe in "tax relief" at many different levels (sales/income/property) that the $200 million secured those exemptions for??

Also, um, what if the price of natural gas goes up? I realize, now and in the foreseeable future, gas "looks" like it will remain cheap due to the large availability of it, but it wasn't long ago natural gas was extremely expensive and everyone was getting $500+ gas bills for their home/apt. Does this mean it could possibly be another bad business decision,$700 million worth? And probably more tax exemptions somewhere bcus of this project...
anything

Bellevue, WA

#2 Jul 13, 2012
to save jobs and get NRG's tax money. Guaranteed taxpayers bills will go up for another "shot in the dark" attempt to save NRG. What a joke.
Fan

United States

#3 Jul 13, 2012
As of today 7/13/12 the employees where told that the plant is shutting down except for one small unit.Many jobs will be loss.Good news one day and bad news the next
Ice Age Coming

Brooklyn, NY

#4 Jul 13, 2012
Only drunkirkers would be excited for another power plant being built on the waterfront.
lies

Bellevue, WA

#5 Jul 13, 2012
Fan wrote:
As of today 7/13/12 the employees where told that the plant is shutting down except for one small unit.Many jobs will be loss.Good news one day and bad news the next
thats a lie. pretty funny i work there and havent heard that. quit starting rumors bozo.
Tim

Brooklyn, NY

#6 Jul 13, 2012
This had better be planned well or we will be living with a huge mistake for another 50 years. Anyone else feel a little nervous considering the folks the City brings to the table. Now that is a negotiation room I would like to spy on.
NRG is not closing

Dunkirk, NY

#7 Jul 13, 2012
Fan wrote:
As of today 7/13/12 the employees where told that the plant is shutting down except for one small unit.Many jobs will be loss.Good news one day and bad news the next
Quit starting rumors dumb azz. NRG will never close idiot.
Deer Street Survivor

Brooklyn, NY

#8 Jul 13, 2012
NRG is not closing wrote:
<quoted text>
Quit starting rumors dumb azz. NRG will never close idiot.
Actually it appears that the two larger units will be closed now. The two smaller units will stay open...for now.
lies

Bellevue, WA

#9 Jul 13, 2012
Deer Street Survivor wrote:
<quoted text>
Actually it appears that the two larger units will be closed now. The two smaller units will stay open...for now.
actually there was a meeting at work today and nothing is closing at NRG in Dunkirk. Quit talkng out you azz.
Hanger

Dansville, NY

#10 Jul 13, 2012
over paid bozos, all of them.
Deer Street Survivor

Brooklyn, NY

#11 Jul 13, 2012
lies wrote:
<quoted text> actually there was a meeting at work today and nothing is closing at NRG in Dunkirk. Quit talkng out you azz.
Sorry, it was reported on multiple news sites that it would be happening. So f ck off coal monkey.
lies

Bellevue, WA

#12 Jul 13, 2012
Deer Street Survivor wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry, it was reported on multiple news sites that it would be happening. So f ck off coal monkey.
not hardly. lmao. you people never quit.
Deer Street Survivor

Brooklyn, NY

#13 Jul 13, 2012
lies wrote:
<quoted text> not hardly. lmao. you people never quit.
"Not hardly?"

So you agree?

The observer had a urgent scroll regarding about it all day. I do see it has been removed. It was also mentioned on two seperate local radio stations as well as on YNN. So again, f ck off coal monkey.
lies

Bellevue, WA

#14 Jul 13, 2012
Deer Street Survivor wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry, it was reported on multiple news sites that it would be happening. So f ck off coal monkey.
multiple news sites? why dont you provide a link to one of them? you cant so stf up.
OTB

Brooklyn, NY

#15 Jul 13, 2012
NRG is not closing wrote:
<quoted text>
Quit starting rumors dumb azz. NRG will never close idiot.
That is unfortunate.
Deer Street Survivor

Brooklyn, NY

#16 Jul 13, 2012
lies wrote:
<quoted text> multiple news sites? why dont you provide a link to one of them? you cant so stf up.
From ynn
http://buffalo.ynn.com/content/top_stories/59...

PrintEmail0 0 5ShareThis5
7:06 PM
NRG plans to reduce workforce
By: Katie Cummings

The results of a feasibility study for the NRG Plant in Chautauqua County are out, and include reductions to the workforce over the next few years. The company filed a mothball notice in March. National Grid and New York ISO determined through a study that only one of the four units at the Dunkirk plant would be needed by 2015.

 
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DUNKIRK, N.Y.— Starting in September, NRG Officials say the Public Service Commission will likely allow them to take two of their larger units offline.
Employees learned late Thursday that the total number would be reduced from 145 to 82 by the end of this year. Company officials then plan to reduce employees further down to 68 by next summer.

Employees will be offered opportunities to transfer to sister stations, including the one located in Tonawanda. Others will be offered a severance package.

NRG officials say the layoffs aren't likely to be reversed any time soon, but County Executive Greg Edwards says the study was flawed.

"As long as natural gas prices stay at their all time low, it's going to be very difficult to bring that operating staff back," said Lee Davis, senior vice president at NRG.

"That sort of limited production does not support a business model that makes any sense whatsoever in that it costs way more to keep that plant open than they can possibly generate in revenue from the sale of that small amount of electricity," said Edwards,(R).

Local lawmakers have proposed legislation to keep the plant open. Edwards claims it's been blocked in the Assembly and urges residents to write to state officials.

Just Thursday, the company announced further plans to transition to natural gas.

Davis says NRG plans to move ahead with the project despite the staff reduction.
Lies likes to lie

Brooklyn, NY

#17 Jul 13, 2012
lies wrote:
<quoted text> multiple news sites? why dont you provide a link to one of them? you cant so stf up.
Observertoday had it scrolling earlie today.

Also...
Front page of YNN
The results of a feasibility study for the NRG Plant in Chautauqua County are out, and include reductions to the workforce over the next few years. The company filed a mothball notice in March. National Grid and New York ISO determined through a study that only one of the four units at the Dunkirk plant would be needed by 2015.

7:06 PM
Deer Street Survivor

Brooklyn, NY

#18 Jul 13, 2012
lies wrote:
<quoted text> multiple news sites? why dont you provide a link to one of them? you cant so stf up.
Here you go coal monkey (or should i say, soon to be ex coal monkey?)

http://www.buffalonews.com/business/article94...

The coal-fired power plant in Dunkirk can mothball more than 70 percent of its generating capacity this fall and could stop producing electricity entirely in less than three years without hurting the reliability of the state’s power supplies, a new study found.

The reliability study clears the way for the plant’s owner, NRG Energy, to mothball two of the Dunkirk plant’s biggest generating units within two months and could result in the end of all power generation at the facility by mid-2015, if not earlier. It also threatens the 145 jobs at the power plant and would jeopardize $8.5 million in payments that NRG currently makes to local schools and governments.

“We’re certainly disappointed because we don’t like any impact to our employees and to the community here,” said Lee Davis, NRG’s regional president, said today.

NRG filed a notice with regulators in March to mothball the Dunkirk plant, which has a generating capacity of 520 megawatts, because low natural gas prices and an ample supply of power plants across New York has depressed electricity prices and led to steep losses at the coal-fired facility.

NRG executives had hoped that the reliability study would find that mothballing the Dunkirk plant would make the state’s electricity supplies less reliable and open the door to negotiations with a buyer – likely one of the state’s utilities – to purchase the power generated at the plant.

Instead, the reliability study conducted by National Grid and disclosed today, found that only the two smallest generating units at the four-unit Dunkirk plant are needed, beginning in mid-September. That would leave two units, with a generating capacity of 75 megawatts apiece, in operation, while the plant’s biggest units, each with a capacity of 185 megawatts, would be mothballed.

But the Dunkirk plant would drop down to just one 75-megawatt unit beginning next June, and that unit could be shut down by June 2015, or possibly earlier, once National Grid completes work on a major substation project. Mothballing the units makes it possible to bring them back into operation in a matter of weeks or months.

The mothballing would have a major impact on the plant’s work force, which would drop to 82 employees once the facility was down to two generating units and 68 when only a single unit is operating, Davis said. The company plans to offer the workers the chance to transfer to open positions at other NRG power plants, including the Huntley Station in the Town of Tonawanda and others across the state and the country.

The mothballing also would slash the company’s payments to local governments and school districts. The company currently pays $8.5 million a year through a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement, and NRG expects to pay that much next year, as well. But the payment likely would drop to around $1.6 million beginning in the 2014-15 school tax year and the 2015 tax year for the City of Dunkirk and Chautauqua County
Whaddayaathink

Dunkirk, NY

#19 Jul 13, 2012
Its really pathetic how little the public understands this industry. Since this process started in march Ive read lots of inaccurate bar room chatter. Heck lots of people think its national grids plant. Its a competitive business funded by banks and theres more to it than cheaper gas. A new plant would be more efficient, have lower daily overhead, would be faster starting and the list goes on. Less than a decade ago the revenue from Dunkirk made it one of NRG's flagship plants! They're a cash flush agressive company who values its employees and has vowed to take care of them and If they can make a buck in NY over the long term, they'll be here to capitalize on it.
Those Observing

Brooklyn, NY

#21 Jul 14, 2012
NRG may lose 63 employees
National Grid study proposes keeping only two of four units

July 14, 2012
The OBSERVER

OBSERVER Staff Report

A reliability study done by National Grid has concluded that only two of the four units are needed to be in operation at the NRG Energy, Inc. plant in Dunkirk.

According to Lee Davis, NRG Northeast region president, the company received the news regarding the study late Thursday. The two units that will be in operation are the smaller 75 megawatt generators.

"We have informed our employees of what it means here," Davis said of the meeting with the workers on Friday morning.

What that means for the plant currently is that in September, the two larger units, which generate 185 megawatts, will not be needed. After May 2013, the company will only need to have one 75 megawatt unit online.

"We're disappointed in this," Davis said. "We were hoping they would need four or three."

The reduction in units will mean the plant will generate less than 30 percent of its current output. It also means a reduction in employees from 145 to 82 in September.

"Our company regards these folks as our family," Davis said, noting that many will be transferred to other locations. "We will make this as painless for them as we possibly can."

Reductions in the power generation also will impact the payment in lieu of taxes - PILOT - agreement with Chautauqua County, the city of Dunkirk and school district.

"We understand this is a big impact to the community," Davis said. "We will be working closely with the IDA and taxing jurisdictions."

State Sen. Catharine Young also expressed "disappointment" with the reliability study. She said she continues to push for the New York Power Authority to purchase power from the station.

"We're hoping that through negotiations we can get a more positive result and have more units operating," she said.

Despite the news on the study, NRG is moving ahead on its $700 million proposal to convert the generating facility to natural gas. "We're 100 percent full speed ahead with that project," Davis said. "It's going to require a contract with the state ... but it's an excellent project."

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