DUNKIRK, NY (WNY News Now) – Work continues to bring new life to an icon of northern Chautauqua County industry along Lake Erie.
Years after shutting down operations, the NRG power plant in Dunkirk remains offline, overlooking the community from the lake’s shoreline.
Not all hope is lost, though, as plans to redevelop the site are in the works, according to Dunkirk’s Director of Planning and Development Vince DeJoy.
“We’re working with NRG and our consultants at Bergmann on a phase two, basically looking at what’s the infrastructure here, what do they have available, and what could we put together for some kind of redevelopment plan, and some further exploration of some of the ideas,” DeJoy told WNY News Now.
A study completed in early 2021 outlines the potential uses for the site, which is still owned by NRG. Options include a data center, new industrial development, or a complete demolition of the facility.
“The first phase one was basically looking at what are potential reuses,” DeJoy said. “As we delve a little further into it, we will have a better idea of what type of uses based on what’s there for infrastructure.”
Some residents have raised concerns that the abandoned structure will be turned into a cryptocurrency mining facility, following in the footsteps of many other industrial sites across the nation.
“Crypto and bitcoin is not the type of next use that we are investigating,” DeJoy explained. “Just for many environmental reasons and the tremendous amount of power and energy that it takes to sustain one of those plants.”
Although progress is being made, due to the vast number of factors, officials do not have a clear timeline for the redevelopment process.
“We’ll be lucky if it’s five years, because it’s a very complicated site,” DeJoy clarified.