Timing is everything.
On Thursday afternoon, spirits were high when state and area officials as well as NRG Energy Inc. announced plans to invest $700 million for a conversion plan from coal to natural gas at the Dunkirk plant. Less than 24 hours later, however, NRG received word only two of their four turbine units would be needed after a reliability study.
NRG was hoping four or three of their units would be needed, but that was not the case. This decision possibly means fewer workers at the Dunkirk plant for now - and an impact to the payment in lieu of taxes plant for the county, city and its school district.
So what's next?
This area needs to come together to support the $700 million project for NRG's future in Dunkirk. Speaking in one voice can help make this - the largest construction project in Chautauqua County's history - happen.
As noted on Friday, please make your voice heard by contacting these officials:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo at (518) 474-8390 or e-mail at www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php.
Hon. Sheldon Silver at (518) 455-3791 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WORKING?TOGETHER: No party favors in important issue
This major issue regarding NRG Energy Inc. has never been one about being a Democrat or Republican, which is what makes the efforts of our area's elected leaders so refreshing.
On Thursday, many officials stood together to cheer on the NRG announcement of the $700 million proposal to convert the plant to natural gas. Of note, we praise state Sen. Catharine Young, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, Dunkirk Mayor Anthony J. Dolce, County Executive Greg Edwards and Industrial Development Agency Director William Daly for their efforts on assisting a major employer and community partner.
It's a non-partisan effort that is key to our region's future.