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New Study Shows Replacement Options are Plentiful, Available and Affordable
A new report prepared for Riverkeeper and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) by energy consulting firm Synapse Energy Economics, finds there is currently a surplus of electricity capacity in the regions near Indian Point, including New York City, and that even if the Indian Point units were closed when their current operating licenses expire by 2015, there would be no need for new electric capacity to meet reliability requirements until 2020.

The report, Indian Point Energy Center Nuclear Plant Retirement Analysis; Replacement Options, Reliability Issues and Economic Effects, also identifies energy sources that are readily available to replace Indian Point’s 2,000 megawatts of electric capacity.The replacement options identified in the report are either already underway or can be implemented well before 2020 and include:

  • About 1,550 MW in savings from new energy efficiency resources in the Indian Point region, beyond those that are already planned. Additional savings are available in the rest of the state.
  • Nearly 600 MW of renewable energy capacity to meet peak electricity demand (and up to 3,000 MW total capacity) by 2015. In total, more than 6,000 MW of renewable energy projects like wind and solar are already in the planning process in the state.
  • 8,000 MW from proposed new transmission lines to bring power to New York City from upstate New York and other regions, including the already approved 660 MW Hudson Transmission Line, and nearly 2,000 MW of lines are already well along in the approval process.
  • More than 1,000 MW from increased efficiency at existing, outdated natural gas plants in New York City, which involves updating their technology to increase power output and reduce air emissions and other pollution.

The report also finds that replacing Indian Point’s capacity can be done on time and without significant cost increases to consumers. Many of the projects and initiatives are already underway, and will be built whether Indian Point closes down or not. Our report estimates that closing Indian Point will cost the typical consumer $1 – 5 dollars a month – less if they make good use of energy efficiency options.

Moving away from Indian Point and towards increased energy efficiency savings, wind and solar power and updating existing natural gas plants would ensure us a more diverse, reliable energy supply that is better for our economy and the environment.

Since 2001, Riverkeeper has been leading the fight to shut down Indian Point. We continue to wage a multi-front battle against the environmentally destructive ticking time bomb sitting on the shores of the Hudson River and are engaged at a variety of forums at both the State and Federal levels. Simultaneous to the release of this report, we are litigating in Albany to ensure DEC’s determination is upheld in Entergy’s Water Quality Certification denial. This decision would prevent Indian Point from obtaining a license extension. With the litigation in Albany, the upcoming NRC relicensing hearings in early 2012, and now this new report, we are poised to show that the risks of continuing to operate Indian Point heavily outweigh any supposed benefit of the plant and put the final nail in the coffin of Entergy’s Safe. Secure. Vital. slogan.