Ontario, New York - Exelon Corp./ Constellation Energy Nuclear Group (CENG) today filed a petition with the New York State Public Service Commission (NYPSC) that, if the petition is approved by the NYPSC, is designed to facilitate the continued safe and reliable operation of the Ginna Nuclear Power Plant in Ontario, NY.
Earlier this year, CENG management met with key stakeholders to discuss the significant economic challenges to the continued operation of Ginna. These challenges have been the subject of financial analyst reports, and have been extensively covered in the media.
On February 21, 2014, CENG management filed a request with the New York Independent System Operator (NY ISO) to study the impact of the Ginna plant on electric system reliability. The NY ISO concluded its independent analysis on May 12, 2014 and found that Ginna is needed to maintain system reliability. In the absence of a confirmed reliability need and an acceptable reliability support service agreement, CENG management would recommend to CENG's board that the Ginna facility cease operations and retire as soon as practicable. A decision to close Ginna requires the unanimous approval of the CENG board. In light of the NYISO reliability study, the CENG board has not been presented with a formal recommendation.
Today's petition is the next step in the process to ensure that Ginna continues to operate. If the petition is approved by the NYPSC, CENG management would be ordered to negotiate with Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) on the terms of an agreement to support continued operation. Terms of the reliability agreement are expected to be filed with the NYPSC by the end of 2014 for approval, at which time all stakeholders will have opportunity to file comments with the PSC pursuant to the established process.
"It is no secret that our plant, like others in the region, faces financial challenges. But this filing is actually good news for the hundreds of hardworking men and women that work at the plant and for the community that we serve because it is an encouraging step towards continuing to operate the plant for the foreseeable future," said Joe Pacher, site vice president of the Ginna Nuclear Power Plant. "Ginna brings enormous reliability, employment, tax and environmental benefits to the Rochester region and New York State. Beyond all of these benefits, the Clean Power Plan recently proposed by the United States EPA emphasizes how important it is to keep nuclear plants operating to combat the dangerous effects of climate change. Over the longer term, we look forward to working with the NYPSC, customers and key stakeholders to develop solutions that will keep reliable clean energy in service for the benefit of New York families and businesses."
The petition filed this week will require the approval of the New York State Public Service Commission.