New York Regulators Approve Clean Energy Standard, Saving Nuclear Power Plants, to Achieve 50% Renewables by 2030

In a 4-0 vote, the New York Public Service Commission (“PSC”) approved the Clean Energy Standard to help keep nuclear power online. This decision will provide $965 million in additional revenue for the next 12 years to three nuclear power plants in upstate New York. The three plants eligible for the program are: Exelon Corp’s Ginna and Nine Mile Point Units 1 and 2, and Entergy Corp’s FitzPatrick. FitzPatrick is scheduled to close in 2017 but Entergy Corp. is in talks with Exelon about a potential sale.

This comes at a time where cheap natural gas has flooded the market, forcing nuclear plants to shut down—a risk PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman does not want to take saying, “We could not possibly replace those nuclear units if they were to shut.” Those units would most likely be replaced by carbon producing plants.

This alternative thinking to reduce carbon emissions and help the struggling nuclear industry could provide a model for the rest of the country.

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