City plans more letters of support for NRG Energy

The city of Dunkirk has not wavered in its support for the repowering of the NRG Energy plant with natural gas. However, environmental groups have also not wavered in their opposition.

The lawsuit against NRG by competitor Entergy was dropped upon the company’s sale, but elected officials feel a little extra support to temper remaining opposition couldn’t hurt.

“It came out of the last conference call we had (recently) … that involved Sen. (Catharine) Young, Assemblyman (Andy) Goodell, County Executive (Vince) Horrigan, myself, several different councilmembers and other stakeholders, as well as NRG,” Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas told the OBSERVER.

“Basically, the senator said there is some environmental group that is still opposed to this and there were some letters floating around as to why they are opposed to it. So, she thought it would be a good idea to get some letters of support out there,” he added.

Rosas composed his letter, citing a lasting negative impact on the city if it loses the tax revenue from the plant.

“I said it would have a very negative impact on our city, not just economically, but in reference to our revenue and services we provide to our city residents in all departments,” he explained.

The Dunkirk Common Council plans to send a letter as well with the same arguments.

He said the city, state, NRG and National Grid are all on board to restart the repowering effort; the approval of the Public Service Commission is the last hurdle in seeing that process begin once again.

In a press release, Young said the PSC heard the public’s support clearly during its comment period from May to July last year. Now she has asked for them to take action.

“I urge the PSC to act quickly so that the promises made to the people of Dunkirk can be realized. The repowering will bring back good-paying jobs, stabilize the tax base, reduce costs for consumers and provide base load energy to the manufacturers who can secure Western New York’s future,” she said.