Millennium contends its actions are legally compliant. "The stay request is baseless and is just another effort by the opposition to further its agenda and stop the project," spokeswoman Michelle Hook said in an email Wednesday.
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"All of our construction activities are completely legal and any allegations that we are violating state or federal law are untrue. Millennium has consulted with US Fish and Wildlife and they are fully aware of our activities."
New York state's power grid will operate reliably after the Indian Point nuclear plant closes early in the next decade as long as natural gas-fired and dual-fuel resources come online as planned, the New York Independent System Operator said Wednesday.
NYISO's analysis found "there will not be a system reliability need" following deactivation of Indian Point-2 and -3 in 2020 and 2021, Respectively, "assuming that sufficient replacement sources of power are added within the Lower Hudson Valley," according to a statement.
Indian Point owner Entergy submitted official notice to NYISO in November that it intends to deactivate the 1,299-MW nameplate capacity unit 2 on April 30, 2020, and the 1,012-MW nameplate capacity unit 3 on April 30, 2021. Indian Point unit 1 was shut in 1974.
Governor Andrew Cuomo along with environmental groups have pressed to close Indian Point on safety grounds for years because they found the risk of an accident roughly 20 miles north of New York City unacceptable.
Indian Point supplies approximately 25% of the electricity consumed by New York City and Westchester County, located directly north of the Bronx.
Three "major generation facilities" under construction totaling 1,818 MW will replace 79% of Indian Point's nameplate capacity, according to the NYISO Generator Deactivation Assessment. These resources are the 120-MW Bayonne gas fired/oil fired simple cycle uprate, the 678-MW CPV Valley combined-cycle gas plant and the 1,020-MW Cricket Valley combined-cycle gas plant.
LEGAL BATTLE OVER MILLENNIUM PIPELINE
NYISO removed those three facilities as part of its scenario analysis and found a 100-MW reliability need beginning in 2021 and increasing each year up to 600 MW in 2027. It is "essential to appreciate the important role that investment in new natural gas facilities plays in maintaining reliability," Gavin Donohue, president and CEO of trade group Independent Power Producers of New York, said in a statement.
"The fact of the matter is that, without existing facilities in the Lower Hudson Valley and new plants like the nearly complete CPV Energy Center, there would be a reliability need," Donohue added.
The CPV Valley plant is involved in a legal tug of war between New York state and the environmental community on one side, with Millennium Pipeline Company and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on the other. Millennium is constructing the 7.8-mile, 127,000 Dt/d Valley Lateral gas pipeline, including near a bald eagle's nest, that would send gas to the CPV plant in Wawayanda.
The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York dissolved a stay that was in effect and declined to grant another, allowing the pipeline construction to begin. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation is challenging in the 2nd Circuit the FERC decision to waive the DEC's water quality review on the grounds it took too long to act.
A panel hearing on the stay was held on December 5 and the court lifted the stay on December 7. On December 8, Millennium began clear cutting trees for a 50-foot-wide right of way.
Intervenors, including the group Protect Orange County, filed motions to stay the project this week, contending that Millennium began clear-cutting trees for a right of way "very close to an established, actively occupied bald eagles nest" in violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Clearing has continued.
Millennium contends its actions are legally compliant. "The stay request is baseless and is just another effort by the opposition to further its agenda and stop the project," spokeswoman Michelle Hook said in an email Wednesday. "All of our construction activities are completely legal and any
allegations that we are violating state or federal law are untrue. Millennium has consulted with US Fish and Wildlife and they are fully aware of our activities."
(Corrects intervenors against Millennium Pipeline land clearing to include "Protect Orange County" and removes reference to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation as an intervenor; adds Millennium comments.)