The owners of a central New York power plant have recently proposed shifting the facility from coal to natural gas, a plan that would carry a significant price tag but could save a major piece of Tompkins County’s tax base.
In a filing with the state Public Service Commission, the owners of the Cayuga Power Plant in the town of Lansing laid out four different options for making the switch, ranging from re-purposing its existing equipment to installing two brand-new turbines.
The cost would range from $60 million to $370 million, according to Jerry Goodenough, chief operating officer of Upstate New York Power Producers, whose subsidiary owns the plant. The project would create over 500 construction jobs and 90 permanent jobs, according to the filing.
Many coal-fired power plants are facing an uncertain future in New York as natural-gas prices stay near decade-long lows and the state moves toward decreasing its cap on carbon emissions. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Energy Highway” program has required the Public Service Commission to look at “repowering” plants as an alternative to shutting them down, while the soon-to-be-passed state budget requires the commission to take community costs into effect when looking at closing power facilities.
The switch requires approval from the state Public Service Commission, and the plant’s contract with New York State Electric & Gas is set to expire at the end of the year. The commission is expected to make a decision by the end of 2013.
- The Ithaca Journal, 3/26/13