NYC Report Finds Electricity Costs and Pollution Will Rise Significantly if Indian Point is Closed

8/4/2011

White Plains, N.Y. –According to a report conducted by independent experts and finalized today by the City of New York Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), shutting down Entergy’s Indian Point Energy Center would increase electricity prices, have a negative impact on the air people breathe, and create reliability problems throughout a region whose economy depends on a reliable electrical supply.

The DEP commissioned the report from Charles River Associates to analyze the impact of IPEC on the region’s economy, environment and supply of reliable electricity. The report’s key findings underscore the vital role Indian Point plays in the region and are consistent with similar independent studies that have been conducted over the last five to seven years.

“New Yorkers understand we need facilities that generate reliable and reasonably priced electricity and they have the right to know the facts about those facilities, including Indian Point. This report, authored by a respected and independent party, delivers the direct facts about Indian Point and clearly demonstrates why this facility is right for New York,” said Richard J. Smith, president, Entergy Wholesale Commodities.

“Indian Point powers our rail lines, subways, schools, firehouses, police stations, businesses and homes with virtually no emissions. Indian Point’s less expensive, clean and reliable energy plays a major role keeping our economy moving forward,” added Smith. Some highlights of the independent study include:

  • Increased Costs – Closing IPEC would increase electricity costs. New York City consumers would pay between $2 billion and $3 billion in higher energy costs, while on a statewide basis New York State consumers would pay between $10 billion and $12 billion in higher energy costs through the year 2030. These figures do not include the cost of additional subsidies that may be required to actually build the power plants to replace Indian Point. These additional costs are estimated to be between $691 million for a conventional fossil power plant and as high as $2.1 billion for a low carbon solution. New Yorkers would also incur additional significant costs due to the need for transmission upgrades to deliver the power from the new generation sources. The need for transmission upgrades was identified in the report, however, no cost estimates were provided.
  • Loss of Jobs – Economic impacts to the area include the loss of the 1,100 employees in the region as well as ancillary jobs associated with vendors that provide services and products needed by the plants.
  • Impact on Grid Reliability – The reliability of the electricity grid will be compromised without new generation or transmission system additions. The report stated that it is not unusual for a major capital project (500 megawatts or larger) to take four to five years to develop and construct. The report also notes it took a very narrow look at the reliability issue and indicated a more detailed look at transmission limitations and dynamic stability of the grid would be needed to determine the total extent of threat to system reliability.
  • Increased Pollution – Any option to replace IPEC’s electricity capacity would significantly increase air pollutants because IPEC is able to provide 2,000 megawatts of generation (enough to power approximately 2 million homes) with virtually no air emissions. New York would see approximately a 15 percent increase in carbon emissions under most conventional replacement scenarios, with roughly a 7 to 8 percent increase in nitrogen oxide emissions. Developing a scenario in which there is no net emissions increase would be extraordinarily expensive.

This report is the latest in a series of independent, fact-based analyses that have been conducted over the years on Indian Point that demonstrate the importance of the plant to the region. Studies include:

  • The Independent Safety Evaluation (2008) – stated that Indian Point nuclear operations are conducted competently and professionally, plant safety systems are well maintained, reliable and backed with full resource commitment by the plant owner.
  • The New York Independent System Operator 2010 Reliability Report – stated that New York City could see blackouts if Indian Point were closed.
  • Con Edison – provided Senate testimony in May 2011, confirming that, if Indian Point is closed, the cost of electricity will increase.
  • The City of New York’s PlaNYC Report (2011) – stated closing Indian Point would increase local air pollution due to increase reliance on carbon-intensive energy sources.
  • National Academy of Sciences study (2006) – stated that Indian Point is a vital part of the system supplying electricity to the New York City region and any significant interruption of power could have serious consequences.

Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and more than 15,000 employees.

More information on Indian Point can be found at http://www.safesecurevital.com.

Entergy's online address is www.entergy.com
Indian Point Energy Center’s online address is www.safesecurevital.com
Twitter: @Indian_Point
Facebook: Facebook.com/IndianPointEnergy