- The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has decided to keep the Cayuga coal plant running through 2017, using a Reliability Support Services Agreement to keep it open.
- In an appeal filing last week, the Sierra Club and consumer advocates Ratepayers and Community Interveners said the decision was unfair to ratepayers and not the most cost effective solution to the capacity gap that the plant's closure would create.
- The agreement for $155 million in subsidies is to be paid by charges to New York State Electric & Gas customers who live in the Finger Lakes region of the state, which the plant used to supply.
A condition of the agreement is that $40 million of improvements are made to the plant. This is the second such agreement since Cayuga's owners said they wanted to close the plant in 2012.
Chief among the consumer groups' complaints are the $40 million of improvements, no guarantee that ratepayers would get their money back should the plant keep going beyond 2017, and an alleged lack of public participation in the decision-making process. In particular, consumer groups question why $40 million of improvements need to be made when not all improvements are necessary to keep the plant running until 2017.
Following the latest agreement to keep the plant open, the PSC has said it will consider alternative sources of generation to replace Cayuga. The Sierra Club contends it hasn't done so.