Huntley Power tells FERC its coal units may be needed longer than expected

Because its coal-fired power plant won’t be retired as soon as expected, Huntley Power LLC on Oct. 14 filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission an unexecuted cost-of-service agreement under which Huntley will provide the New York Independent System Operator and Niagara Mohawk Power d/b/a National Grid with reliability must run (RMR) service.

This service will be from Huntley Units 67 and 68. Huntley Power, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG), owns and operates the Huntley generating facility located in Western New York. Despite significant investments in the facility by NRG over the past several years, the facility is not currently economic to operate. On Aug. 25 of this year, Huntley submitted a 180-day notice to the New York State Public Service Commission that it intends to retire Units 67 and 68 on March 1, 2016.

After Huntley provided the notice to the NYPSC, the NYPSC requested that NYISO and National Grid work together, as necessary, to perform studies to assess the reliability impacts of the Huntley facility’s retirement, effective March 1, 2016, and the coincident mothballing of Dunkirk Power LLC’s coal-fired Unit 2 upon the expiration of its Reliability Support Services Agreement with National Grid on Jan. 1, 2016.

On Sept. 24, NYISO and National Grid separately notified the NYPSC that further coordinated analysis by NYISO and National Grid is necessary with NYISO and National Grid to provide a further response by Oct. 30. Once the studies are available, Huntley Power will file a copy of the studies with FERC. Although the new studies are not yet completed and available, Huntley Power said it anticipates that they will affirm the conclusion of a prior study done by National Grid that found reliability impacts from the retirement or mothballing of Huntley and Dunkirk based on a 2016 peak load case. Huntley Power said it will amend this Oct. 15 filing, as appropriate, when the new studies are available.

Since filing its initial notice with the NYPSC, Huntley has developed the Huntley Rate Schedule and cost of service in anticipation of negotiating a reliability agreement with NYISO and National Grid that would allow the units to continue operating. While Huntley may be able to reach a satisfactory reliability agreement with NYISO and National Grid prior to March 1, 2016, Huntley Power is making this Oct. 15 filing pursuant to Section 205 of the Federal Power Act to allow a rate to go into effect should negotiations be unsuccessful. Huntley thus requests that the cvommission accept the Huntley Rate Schedule without suspension or modification, to be effective on March 1, 2016. To the extent that the discussions with NYISO and National Grid are successful, Huntley Power said it will apprise the federal commission accordingly.

The Huntley Generating Facility is located in Tonawanda, New York, and had six coal-fired units that were placed into service between 1942 and 1958. Units 63 and 64 were retired in 2006 and Units 65 and 66 were retired in 2007. The remaining two units, Units 67 and 68, each have nameplate rating of 218 MW. Units 67 and 68, interconnected at 230 kV, are interconnected with National Grid within NYISO’s Zone A.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.