In comments filed with state regulators, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) said that New York consumers will pay higher electricity costs and the state will lose an important tool to reduce air pollution if the Exelon (NYSE:EXC) R.E. Ginna nuclear power plant is forced to close early.
The 581-MW facility, located in Ontario, N.Y., could be forced to shut down prematurely due to a confluence of electricity market factors.
NEI filed its comments May 6 with the New York Public Service Commission in Case 14-E-0270.
Owners of Ginna are seeking a Reliability Support Services Agreement (RSSA) with Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E) that would allow for continued operation of the Ginna nuclear plant.
The Ginna facility is one of six nuclear power units in New York that supply approximately 30% of the state’s electricity, and roughly 60% of the state’s carbon-free electricity. Ginna produced 4.6 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity in 2014, and operated at a capacity factor of 95%. Over the last 10 years, the facility has operated at more than 95% of capacity, NEI said.
Ginna employs about 700 people directly and adds another 800 to 1,000 jobs during reactor refueling outages, NEI said. The pressurized water reactor (PWR) is licensed to operate until 2029.
Exelon runs the plant for Constellation Energy Nuclear Group LLC, a joint venture between Exelon Corp. and the EDF Group.