Officials To Put Forward Strategy For Potential Redevelopment

DUNKIRK — Public officials from various government levels are expected to meet to formulate a strategy for potential redevelopment of the Dunkirk power plant site.

As for options, Assemblyman Andy Goodell says there’s a few to be considered. Goodell says the first analysis will be whether there’s other power producers that might be interested in running the facility.

“That would be ideal,” Goodell said. “Certainly, you’ve seen that before where Entergy pulled a nuclear power plant through difficulty, worked out a deal and kept the plant open.”

A second option is whether there’s a substantial electrical user that might be interested in the facility that could benefit from the existing electrical infrastructure. The final option would be to market the facility to anyone else interested in making a substantial investment and employment opportunities as well.

“We’ll work in a bipartisan manner with Mayor Rosas, City Council and the county executive to bring all resources of the state to help maximize the redevelopment of that site,” Goodell said.

News surrounding NRG came as a disappointment, but officials acknowledged that it wasn’t entirely unanticipated. Goodell said the senator and he previously met to discuss alternatives if the project didn’t go forward. At the city level, they were preparing in the same manner. While the decision by NRG may seem like a devastating blow, Rosas said it may also provide an opportunity for the city and its residents.

“As the city continues on its pathway toward progress and economic growth, I have not relied on only one answer to the many problems that we have faced and will face in the future,” he said. “The NRG site was included in our Brownfield Opportunity Area plan that was submitted and approved by New York state. We anticipated that this might be the final outcome and we prepared for it.”

Rosas went on to say that his planning director and he made sure they had an alternative plan in place through the state BOA and the city’s comprehensive plan.

“We have not looked at this with tunnel vision, but with a broad and positive look,” he said.

Young said the exit of NRG leaves Western New York without an operating base load power plant, which does not bode well for the economic future, especially in manufacturing. Spikes in power costs during the most recent heat wave shows that not having in-state power generation has a terribly negative impact on consumers, she said.

“I will fight to find a solution,” she said. “Either another power generator should take over the plant, or the site should be redeveloped into a resource that supports our tax base and grows jobs. I will be working to explore every option in the coming days. I am confident that we can overcome this setback.”