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NYISO now concludes that FitzPatrick shutdown will not create reliability issues

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NYISO now concludes that FitzPatrick shutdown will not create reliability issues

The has taken back its warningthat the impending shutdown of the JamesA. FitzPatrick nuclear plant will threaten reliability by leaving NewYork's grid with a statewide generation resource deficiency starting in 2019.

New Yorkstate's grid operator acknowledged in a recent updated assessment to a Feb. 11 analysis that its original conclusions were wrongand that the state will not have a reliability need through 2020. As a result, theNYISO has withdrawn its recommendation that more than 325 MW of additional capacityshould be solicited through "gap solutions" to make up for the expectedloss in generation.

The Feb.11 assessment had concluded that EntergyCorp.'s planned-shutdown of the 882-MW upstate nuclear plant and theretirement or temporary shutdown of an additional 1,728 MW of electric generationin 2016-2017 would leave the state with a 325 MW deficiency.

NYISOspokesman David Flanagan said the new assessment is based on an updated load forecastcompiled for the operator's draft "2016 Load and Capacity Data Report,"or "Gold Book."

"Themain factors affecting the load forecast are slower peak load growth in the downstateregion; slower economic growth after 2020, based on Moody's current outlook; andimpacts of energy efficiency initiatives, on-site generation and distributed resources,"said Flanagan.

Entergyannounced in November 2015 that it will retire the FitzPatrick plant at the endof its current fuel cycle for economic reasons. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration,lawmakers and pro-nuclear interest groups such as Upstate Energy Jobs coalitionhave been adamant that FitzPatrick and New York's two other upstate nuclear plants are needed to ensure reliability andto meet the state's ambitious emissions cuts.

The NewYork Public Service Commission is considering above-market subsidies for upstatenuclear generation to keep the plants open in an era of low energy prices fueledby low natural gas prices. State lawmakers have also proposed $100 million of emergencyfunding to stop FitzPatrick from shutting down.

Entergyspokeswoman Tammy Holden nevertheless confirmed that the company still plans toshut down the FitzPatrick plant in early 2017.