A coalition of environmental groups and local officials is seeking to block the Cayuga power plant near Ithaca from moving ahead with plans to transfer from burning coal to natural gas.
The plant’s owners, Cayuga Operating Company, submitted a plan earlier this year with four options for how to make the transition. The price tags for those options ranged from $60 to $370 million.
If the state chooses to close the plant down instead, the lost power would be replaced with increased transmission.
The Public Service Commission last month ordered the owners and NYSEG to come up with a new repowering plan, making it more likely that the plant would remain open.
Christopher Amato is a lawyer for Earthjustice. Amato says the PSC should release the information its decisions are based on because any repowering option would be subsidized by ratepayers.
“And now you’ve got this new order that appears to be saying well, we’re throwing out these four repowering proposals but we’re not going to tell you why and by the way you have 30 days to come up with a new one and we’re not going to tell anybody why we think we need a new one and how we think this is going to work in a way that doesn’t place all of the risk on the ratepayers.”
Earthjustice is asking the state to freeze the process and release more information to the public and other involved groups.