Dunkirk Plant closing impact on Chautauqua County

NRG Energy has filed an application to close the Huntley coal facility in Tonawanda by March of 2016 and plans to place the Dunkirk project on hold.

DUNKIRK, N.Y. -- NRG Energy is an economic life line for Dunkirk and Chautauqua County.

Since late 2013 the plan has been to move forward with the re-powering project to convert the coal burning power plant to a natural gas plant. Over a year ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo made a big announcement, "NRG is going to be investing 150 million hours into the plant and will be converting all three units from coal to natural gas."

That plan is on hold due to a lawsuit filed by a downstate company. NYS Senator. Catherine Young said "it's very disappointing that a company name Energy from downstate has filed a federal lawsuit against the re-powering project and unfortunately that lawsuit has delayed us from moving forward."

It's all troubling to the Chautauqua County Executive because of NRG's tax contribution. "NRG is the largest tax share in Chautauqua county for the city of Dunkirk and Dunkirk city schools the impact would be enormous," said Vince Horrigan.

Sen. Young said if the company closes, "it will cause hardships for taxpayers across the county but especially in the city of Dunkirk, we're looking at having to lay off more than 60 teachers if they lose this tax base."


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