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Thu Oct 1, 2015, 01:21 PM

Analyst: Tighter emissions goals won’t save N.Y. nuclear industry

Analyst: Tighter emissions goals won’t save N.Y. nuclear industry

By SCOTT WALDMAN 5:41 p.m. | Sep. 25, 2015 4 follow this reporter
ALBANY — Market analysts are warning investors about New York’s nuclear plant operators as two such facilities face possible closure.

Exelon plans to close the R.E. Ginna nuclear facility in Western New York, and Entergy said earlier this month it may close the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear facility outside Syracuse. Other nuclear facilities in New York are also at risk of closure.

New York’s nuclear plants have been beset by competition from cheap natural gas and rising infrastructure costs, part of a national trend that has challenged the industry. A series of proposed pipelines into New York will further hurt it by increasing the state's supply of natural gas, according to an analysis released Thursday by UBS analyst Julien Dumoulin-Smith.


The loss of the Ginna plant alone could drive the state’s air emissions up 7 percent, that earlier analysis found. Losing another plant, or possibly two, will make it harder to meet tough new federal pollution standards. However, to offset the loss of New York’s nuclear facilities, the state could place increasing emphasis on growing the renewable industry.

“If retirements move forward as contemplated, we see a real corresponding uplift to the renewable industry as this becomes the growing source of 'plugging' for any further holes in meeting prospective carbon targets,” he wrote.


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