NRG releases report supporting converting coal-fired power plant to burn natural gas

A report released by NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) states that a $506 million project to convert a coal-fired power plant in Dunkirk, N.Y., could reduce wholesale electricity prices in Western New York by as much as 5 percent and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Buffalo News.

The report states that converting the plant to run on natural gas instead of shutting the plant down would reduce the need for electricity from other power plants and eliminate the need to build transmission lines to import power into New York, according to the News.

Switching the Dunkirk plant to natural gas could save consumers an estimated $142 million a year, which would lower wholesale electricity prices by 5 percent in Western New York and an average of 2 percent statewide, based partly on a U.S. Energy Department forecast, the report states.

According to the News, the Dunkirk power plant could be shut down as early as 2015 because the low price for natural gas and a large supply of power plants across New York have depressed electricity prices and led to steep losses at the facility. The report is the latest step in the evaluation of NRG’s proposal to convert the Dunkirk power plant from running off of coal to natural gas.

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