Tompkins County Leaders Make Pitch to Retrofit Power Plant
A group of elected leaders, business owners and representatives of the Lansing School Disitrct held a press conference Monday urging the operators of the AES Cayuga Power Plant to retrofit the coal fired plant to burn natural gas and keep the facility up and running.
Republican State Sen. Mike Nozzolio led Monday’s news conference to urge the operators to make the change and also encourage the Public Service Commission to require the plant stay open.
The 302-megawatt, coal-fired power plant has been struggling do to competition from natural-gas-fired plants.
Retrofitting the plant would cost anywhere from $60 million to $370 million.
NYSEG which owns the plant has recommended the state allow it to close, the company would rather spend money to upgrade power transmission lines.
The plan to retrofit requires the construction of a natural gas pipeline.
The plant currently employs nearly 70 people and pays over 2 million in taxes, retrofitting the plant would create 132 to 248 jobs from 2014 to 2017. Upgrading NYSEG’s transmission lines would create 156 jobs during the same period, the report said.
The PSC will decide the power plant’s fate by the year’s end.