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Indian Point Plant to be Shut Down: Dark Days Ahead

The Indian Point nuclear plant is to shut down for good by the end of this month, thanks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s yearlong pressure. This leaves the state to be more reliant on power induced by natural gas and makes it harder to reach the zero-carbon emissions goal. Cuomo unveiled his $26 billion clean energy economy plan in January.

Cuomo said that there is a need to replace fossil fuel plants with clean power. Indian Point accounted for nearly 30% of the state’s carbon-free power production. He aims to replace it with wind, solar and hydroelectric plants. The years-long campaign by the Governor to harass Indian Point into closing was “fossil foolish.”

The gas-fired power plants of the state need to increase their output by almost one-third only to cover the loss of electricity. The governor’s highly optimistic alternative energy timetable does not foresee New York reaching the goal of 70% renewable energy by 2030. Last week, the feds nixed the planned leased sale of two wind farm sites near the Hamptons because of environmental issues.

However, kibosh has been put by the state on building new natural gas plants. This opens the door to many blackouts in the future if the wind and solar plans by Cuomo fall through. Since Cuomo keeps nixing the pipeline projects, even new gas plants might be dicey. On top of all this, wind and solar plants cost a lot more for every kilowatt-hour of generation. They are also inherently unreliable due to the weather which can devastate their output.

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