A small but passionate group of about 50 activists with the Sierra club, gathered on the southern lawn of Albany’s Academy Park to deliver a 14-thousand signed petitions demanding Governor Cuomo deny the bailout of the Cayuga Power Plant. Chanting, “You’re throwing our money down a big hole. Governor Cuomo, don’t pay that toll.”
The bailout would come via the governor’s Public Service Commission that currently subsidizes the plant to the tune of $4 -million a month.
The Tompkins County installation has two units that burn coal, and one that uses natural gas or oil depending on the market.
David Schlissel, lead author in a report by the Institute for Energy Economic and Financial Analysis, says the Cayuga Plant simply isn’t viable.
“The cost of generating power is much higher than the cost they can get for selling it. Market prices are very low and they’re expected to stay low for the coming year. Without the money from NYSEG that they want, it’s not economic, it’s barely economic with the money they get.”
He says the Cayuga Plant is asking for 145-million dollars from rate payers to do upgrades and receive 10 more years of subsidies.
The group is urging the state to take this opportunity to invest in renewable energy.
The New York Public Service Commission has yet to whether or not it will continue subsidizing the plant.
In 2012 the PSC rejected a request by the plant’s operators to shut down and asked for a plan to convert the plant entirely to natural gas.