Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) President and CEO Marvin Fertel praised the New York Public Service Commission on Aug. 1 for including nuclear power in the state’s plan to reach 50% renewable energy by 2030.
“Gov. Cuomo and the Public Service Commission correctly acknowledge nuclear power plants as indispensable sources of emissions-free power, meriting explicit valuation by the state as a clean energy source,” Fertel said in a statement.
“Other states should strongly consider emulating New York’s new energy standard,” Fertel added.
“New York’s six reactors produce nearly 60 percent of the state’s carbon-free electricity. With the state’s aggressive carbon reduction goals, the state’s leadership acted swiftly and emphatically to ensure preservation of its most significant low-carbon tool,” Fertel said.
“Reactors elsewhere in the country are under financial stress today, because their attributes are not fully valued while at the same time natural gas prices are at historic lows and renewable energy sources are subsidized via tax credits and/or mandated additions of wind and solar capacity,” Fertel said.
It should be noted that the New York governor has a complex relationship with the nuclear power industry in New York. Cuomo has opposed a 20-year license extension for the two Entergy (NYSE:ETR) Indian Point nuclear facilities because of their relatively close proximity to New York City.
Cuomo has, however, supported keeping open nuclear units in upstate New York. The upstate facilities include the Exelon (NYSE:EXC) Ginna and Nine Mile Point nuclear plants as well as the Entergy FitzPatrick plant.
Exelon is currently in talks to acquire FitzPatrick from Entergy.