DUNKIRK – The ongoing battle to find a solution to the repowering of the NRG Plant in Dunkirk continues behind the scenes, but the state needs to cooperate to reach a solution, according to Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello.
Borrello told WNYNewsNow that there have been continued negotiations to develop some kind of plan that allows the plant to eventually be repowered and running.
“Really there’s been a lot of activity behind the scenes. I’ve been working with Senator Young, Assemblyman Goodell, Congressman Reed and Mayor Willie Rosas in Dunkirk,” Borrello said.
“We are engaging NRG. The key component now is to talk to NRG about what we can do with that facility going forward and what their plans are so that’s a lot of, we’ll call high-level negotiations to ensure that we have a game-plan going forward with NRG and we have their cooperation and buy in which is really important, obviously, because they own that facility,” Borrello said.
“So we are stepping carefully, but we are actively engaged in trying to move to the next steps whether its someone else to repower that plant or repurposing it in some manner,” he said.
Getting the state to cooperate is unlikely, but a key element of success, Borrello noted.
“One of the big issues is that we have this unrealistic and politically motivated agenda at the state level, particularly from the Governor that he’s going to put fossil fuel plants out of business in New York and that’s just political rhetoric because the reality is all of these renewable energy projects that they are constructing throughout upstate New York need to be backed up with reliable power and that reliable power has to come from natural gas-powered electrical plants for one, hydro electrical power and others,” he said.
Borrello offered some advice to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“Rather than running transmission lines to the dirtiest coal plants in the United States… we should be repowering the Dunkirk plant, so I’m hoping the governor will step away from his campaign rhetoric and start seeing the reality of the fact that we should do as he promised nearly five years ago and repower the Dunkirk plant with clean abundant natural gas,” Borrello offered.