In comments filed Thursday, the Manufacturers Alliance of New York submitted two separate filings calling for the repowering of both the Dunkirk and the Cayuga power plants with natural gas generation.
"On behalf of the statewide manufacturing community, I urge the PSC to do what is best for our state's economic future and repower the Cayuga and Dunkirk power plants with natural gas generation," said Randy Wolken, Manufacturers Alliance president.
"In order for the state's manufacturers to effectively operate their facilities, retain and grow the community supporting and high paying jobs they support, and generate the wealth of income and revenue that manufacturers bring back to our community and state through their products, it is critical our manufacturers are provided with a reliable, local and clean generation of power. Repowering both the Cayuga and Dunkirk power plants with natural gas generation will do just that."
The alliance argued manufacturers depend on competitively-priced electricity for their operations and, for too long, the state's electricity prices have been among the highest in the nation.
Whether it is through regulatory fees, transmission costs, additional taxes or how the power is sourced and from where, electricity comes at a high costs for energy-intensive sectors like manufacturing, making it that much more difficult to remain competitive in today's global economy.
Having local generation of electricity in a region ensures a level of reliability that would be eliminated, should the plants not be repowered.
The testimony also stated that if the plants were to shut down, power would then likely be wired in from Pennsylvania or Ohio.
In Pennsylvania alone, they rely on nearly five times as much as New York does on coal fired power plants. With the added demand from New York, more coal burning will be necessary, and more emissions will then be produced, impacting our environment. Rather, a more reliable, safer, cost effective and local solution would be repowering the facilities to produce natural gas.
"Not only is this benefiting the New York State business community, but our economic stability at large will be supported and improved, based on job growth alone," Wolken said. "Additionally, this solution also complies with the New York State Energy Highway blueprint, which states system reliability and clean generation of electricity as critical needs for our state's future energy demands. Whether you are talking commerce, jobs, economy, or the environment, repowering of these plants are a win-win for New York state."
The Manufacturers Alliance of New York State (The Alliance) is the State's premier and largest manufacturing association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector throughout New York state.