July 17, 2008


So, the amazing new project at NRG that was going to bring new clean coal technology to WNY, create thousands of construction jobs and help launch our rebirth has been taken out behind the barn and put out of its misery by the Power Authority. OK, who honestly didn't see this coming.

No matter what you read today, this outcome was obvious from the beginning back in 2006 when a tired Pataki Administration deemed the Huntley Plant in the Town of Tonawanda the winner of a taxpayer-funded sweepstakes to build a clean coal plant.

Actually, it was NYPA's call and NYPA actually punted. Rather than designate NRG the winner, they said they would continue to work with NRG to make the Huntley project feasible. That was doublespeak for lets make an announcement of a project that will never happen.

The fact is:
1) NRG didn't have the technology to do what they wanted
2) It was way too expensive and NYPA knew it from the get-go
3) Pataki would be out of office in a few weeks and the new governor wasn't going to be saddled with this.
4) Spitzer and now Paterson's team of enviros HATE coal plants, even if they are clean.

The fact is, the AES plant in Somerset had a sound technology and a workable plan. AES should have been given that award and people would be working today on that plant. Many believed at the time that NYPA didn't want a viable project and that's why AES was passed over for NRG.

Just add this to the list in ways in which the New York Power Authority screws Niagara County and all of WNY.


Joe Niagara said...

Hobbes you are saying the "New York Power Authority screws Niagara County ", wow those are strong words for a person who was just saying what a great deal Bill Ross got us with our new 250 year lease you just signed. I hope the new swing set last that long.

Anonymous said...

Where on these pages did you see Bill Ross getting props for the NYPA deal with the Niagara Power Coalition? I'm sure since, as you said, Hobbes "was just saying" it, it shouldn't be hard to find. What date was that post on saying what a great deal it is?

Pete M said...

This deal was never going to happen, plain and simple. Huntley was never awarded the deal, they were simply given the right to negotiate a deal. There's a big difference.

What is troubling is that the state is willing to invest billions in brownfields rehabilitation in NYC, but doesn't want to bite the bullet on a project for WNY.

We were all excited when Roger Kelley, a WNYer, took over NYPA. Well, after a short, failed tenure, he's out and some bloak from Long Island is taking over. The screwing rolls on.

rufus said...

I give Hobbes props on this NYPA stuff, he has been a leading critic of that arrogant agency.

This NRG stuff would be laughable if it wasn't so sad. I have some friends in the building trades who were really counting on this project to put people to work and food on the table.

Now, NYPA just pulls the rug out from under them. Nice, real nice.

Larry S said...

Uhhh, yeah Joe. It's a 50 year deal, and seven entities from Niagara County brokered the deal, not Bill Ross. If the deal sucks so bad, why is Fred Newlin telling the people from Lewiston what a great deal he got them? Although we know the deal sucks for Lewiston, the people of that community are obviously too stupid to see that they got shit. See ALCOA.

Anonymous said...

Folks, there is plenty of blame to go around here. Hanging this entirely on NYPA, while fun, ignores the reality that going ahead with that project would have cost us all, collectively, billions more than the energy is worth on the market.

All of these so-called new energy solutions -- clean coal, wind, solar -- require something to make them viable. Subsidies. Without govt. subsidies, none of them are competitive with existing generating technologies.

Yes, it a shame that construction jobs will not be coming this way, and that tax base in the Town of Tonawanda is at some risk ifHuntley were to close, but that project was only ever going to exist at a cost we really can't afford.

Pulling the plug now saved us all money. NYPA still needs to be overhauled, mind you, but this was probably a good decision.

Anonymous said...

AES should have gotten the deal in the first place and they won't get it now because the Governor will not promote anything with the word coal in it. We are in the middle of an energy crisis, we have a plant that can readily expand capacity, NYPA where are you?

As far as the residents of Lewiston and their deal, let's all compare electricity bills in the coming months and see if Fred Newlin should be sainted or fired.

dark knight said...

The Spitzer/Paterson braintrust.

High energy prices: bad
Coal: bad
Oil: bad
Alternatives: good...but
Cost of alternatives: bad
Nuclear: very, very bad
Siting new plants: bad

Hmmm, is it any wonder energy prices are so high and their is no policy solution to try to make things better?

Anonymous said...

NYPA has been hammering ths County for years and continue to do so today. The NYPA deal with the county is a joke.Almost all of Niagara County was left in the dark (pun intended) in that deal and no one has had the courage to stand up and do the right thing. This Huntley project was never ever going to materialize and now, finally, we all know it.

Anonymous said...

The NYPA deal wasn't great, but it was good. The problem is that many in the community think that plant produces more power than it really does. Seven entities are receiving a fair amount of power and money. Lewiston could have done better.

But nobody ever talks about the first 50 year agreement because it is my belief that, other than power for business, we got nothing. How did that happen?

Anonymous said...

As this crisis gets deeper, people will look to our leaders for solutions. Governor Patterson has no time to throw out rhetoric- that will not heat my house THIS winter. If he doesn't like coal, and he doesn't like nuclear, he better start putting up some windmills, A LOT of windmills, NOW. But where? At what cost? Will the people embrace these things scattered across the Lake Erie shoreline?

Frank DeGeorge said...

To me, the NYPA relicensing is a done deal. This NRG thing is one more way that NYPA just doesn't give us the whole truth. Look, maybe the subsidies were too high, maybe the technology wasn't there, but they should have said that right upfront. They should have said this project was a long shot.

There is always something that NYPA is not telling us. Remember the fine print in the Greenway Protocals. NYPA though they'd sneak that through until Maziarz called them out.

I'm tired of their lack of honesty.

Anonymous said...

Huntley gets the award. Then they have problems finalizing the deal. My question is who is the head of the states Energy committee. Well look who it is, George Maziarz. Didn`t he back AES. Didn`t AES donate TONS of money to George and the county GOP. (in one way or another)How much do we want to bet that AES comes in and saves the day. Right before this years election. Just to make Maziarz look good.

Anonymous said...

The NYPA deal was bad for Lewiston - meaning they could have done much better. Fred logic was based on "well this is a start point, we can build on this next time". This is flawed and does not work becasue we are talking about 50 years.

The citizens of Lewistion should have gotten free power for 50 years.

The good news is that the citzens of Lewiston are starting to "wake up".

Starting with the FireFighters that were just plan lied too, it will be clear in 09 that Lewiston could have done much better.