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State orders contingency plan in case Indian Point were closed

By: Lee Higgins |

Indian Point 3 nuclear power plant in Buchanan.

(The Journal News, File)

Consolidated Edison must work with the New York Power Authority to develop a plan to address power needs if the Indian Point nuclear power plant were closed, a state agency that regulates utilities has decided.

The Public Service Commission announced Tuesday that it gave Con Ed the directive. It’s part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Energy Highway initiative that seeks to ensure the state’s energy grid is advanced, can meet current and future energy needs, and promotes investment by businesses in the state, a commission news release said.

Cuomo, state attorney general Eric Schneiderman and others have called for Indian Point’s closure, saying its location, in Buchanan, in the midst of a densely populated region is too dangerous. Entergy, Indian Point’s owner, is seeking permission from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to continue operating them for an additional 20 years after the current 40-year licenses expire next year and in 2015.

Con Ed said in a statement that it will work on the contingency plan.

“We will comply with the Commission’s directive to work with the New York Power Authority to develop a contingency plan addressing the needs that would arise in the event of an Indian Point shutdown,” the statement says. “Delivering reliable, affordable electricity to customers is our primary responsibility and a shutdown of Indian Point, without sufficient alternatives, would threaten electric system reliability and potentially raise electric market prices.”

Commission Chairman Garry Brown said in a statement that the Energy Highway initiative will strengthen the economy and enhance the state’s investment in clean energy production.

“A growing, vibrant economy requires an energy production and delivery system that provides the stable foundation companies need to invest in their facilities and workforce, to expand operations and hire new workers,” he said.