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Governor’s Energy Summit Kicks off New Push for Sustainable Energy, Will Help Close Indian Point

Contact: Tina Posterli, Riverkeeper, 516-526-9371, [email protected]

Riverkeeper and Natural Resources Defense Council support New York State’s new vision for reliable, environmentally sound energy supply and transmission

April 5, 2012 – Following yesterday’s New York Energy Highway Task Force Summit, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Riverkeeper announced they fully support Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal of completing a bold new blueprint for energy sustainability in New York, with input from the public, the business sector and others.

The groups are committed to helping the state create a new energy plan. The four pillars of the plan, as previewed at yesterday’s summit, are:

  • increased energy efficiency;
  • creation of new transmission capacity;
  • repowering old power plants with cleaner more efficient technology; and
  • building new power plants with a priority on wind, solar and other renewables

By prioritizing these options, New York is heading in the right direction to improve our energy sustainability. The goals of better efficiency, new transmission, upgrading old plants and more renewables would also facilitate closure of the Indian Point nuclear power station, as NRDC and Riverkeeper pointed out in a report commissioned last October (PDF) by Synapse Energy Consultants entitled: Indian Point Energy Center Nuclear Plant Retirement Analysis; Replacement Options, Reliability Issues and Economic Effects. The Synapse study shows that Indian Point’s closure would not affect system reliability, given an available surplus of energy through 2020, and that over twice the amount of power now supplied by Indian Point can be created in the interim, by implementing the four strategies being advanced by the Governor’s task force.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Chief Prosecuting Attorney at Riverkeeper, said: “Governor Cuomo’s plan to modernize our energy system promises to transform the way New Yorkers create, transmit and use electricity, and bring jobs and prosperity to New York. It also represents another step toward relegating the Indian Point nuke plant to the dustbin of history. While we understand that the plan won’t be ready until the summer, we should advance a clear policy on solar energy now and immediately pass the NY Solar Jobs Act by this spring so we can access the private investment we need to create a robust solar energy industry here in New York.”

NRDC President Frances Beinecke, a panelist at yesterday’s summit, said: “We can transform our antiquated energy infrastructure into a 21st century energy system that is both clean and reliable by prioritizing energy efficiency and scaling up renewable power, along with investments in transmission and repowering existing power plants to make them cleaner and more efficient. New York State, with Governor Cuomo’s leadership, has a great opportunity to lead the country in building a clean energy economy by immediately passing the NY Solar Jobs Act, which would create thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars for the state at the same time.”

Paul Gallay, Hudson Riverkeeper, added: “Between now and the release of the task force’s plan this Summer, Riverkeeper will do what it can to support this crucial process. Putting the plan into practice will present challenges we all have to step up to meet. The rewards for doing so will be enormous; the consequences of failing to do so would be unacceptable.”

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