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Powerless on high cost

The OBSERVER’s View

We already know many of the negative implications to the closing of the former NRG Energy Inc. power plant on the city waterfront.

An ugly facility sits idle. There are only two people at monitoring the site when there were once hundreds of workers. The payment in lieu of taxes to the city, its schools and Chautauqua County, once close to $10 million, is now less than $1 million.

But more than a week ago, there was one more troublesome aspect from the shuttering: the cost of bringing power to Western New York. As noted by the New York Independent Power Supply web site at 2:30 p.m. July 18, costs spiked while heat and humidity reached unbearable numbers. At that moment, the Locational Based Marginal Pricing was at $596.99.

What was the marginal cost of power at that time: just under $31.

Western New York is definitely getting the shaft when it comes to cost when power demand is at its highest. Assemblyman Andrew Goodell says it is due, in part, to transmission lines that were built to supply power, not import it.

While the Public Service Commission is aware of the congestion to bring electricity from outside the state to our region, it’s not a quick fix. Keep you eyes on your electric bill. If it’s going up, it just one more impact of the NRG closing factor.

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