Letter: Is There an Electricity Shortage?

There is a misconception/myth/lie about our electricity.

New York State is part of a vast power region that extends from Ontario to Virginia and from Maine to Ohio. Electricity generated anywhere in the region is available to virtually any user in the region. Blackouts have been caused by transmission difficulties, not by lack of power.

The Indian Point nuclear plant generates 2,000 megawatts of electricity, which is a quarter of the electricity needed by the New York City area. When Indian Point has been temporarily shut down for maintenance, the area got its electricity from other facilities in the region.

Facing a massive buildup of natural-gas pipelines in New England, the Massachusetts Attorney General conducted a study of electric need and concluded that “under business-as-usual circumstances, the region can maintain electric reliability through 2030, even without additional new gas pipelines.”

Since electricity flows freely throughout the region, the above statement would be true for the rest of the region, including New York.

In a free market, if a shortage of a commodity existed, the price of that commodity would go up. This is not happening in the electricity market. The price is low, and nuclear generating plants in upstate New York need an $7.6 billion taxpayer subsidy to stay in operation.

New electric plants are built and old plants are subsidized by taxpayers for the sake of investors, plant operators, jobs and the tax base — not because of any need for, or shortage of, electric power.

Charles Davenport, Wappingers Falls

One Response to "Letter: Is There an Electricity Shortage?"

  1. Ken Panza   September 13, 2017 at 12:06 am

    Gov. Cuomo, in his 2017 State of the State address, announced the closure of the Indian Point Energy Center by April 2021. A statement about replacement capacity was included in the announcement that said: “Several generation resources are also fully permitted and readily available to come online by 2021, after the plant’s closure, including clean, renewable hydro-power able to replace up to 1,000 megawatts of power. Together, these sources will be able to generate more than enough electrical power to replace Indian Point’s capacity by 2021.”

    Replacing Indian Point’s generating capacity are two new natural gas generators under construction in the Mid-Hudson Valley: the 690 MW CPV Valley Energy Center in Orange County and the 1,200 MW Cricket Valley Energy Center in Dutchess County. The Champlain-Hudson Power Express would provide an additional 1,000 megawatts of Canadian hydroelectric power.

    Combined, these three sources could completely replace the 16,666 GWh of generation from the Indian Point Energy Center.