Energy

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The New York State Public Service Commission has approved of National Grid rate hikes. Over the next three years, the monthly electric and gas bills of residential customers could increase by about $16 dollars. The plan includes a discount program for low-income customers.

A spokesperson for National Grid released this statement.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

If a National Grid rate hike is approved by the state Public Service Commission, residential customers could be paying $16 more a month on their electric and gas bills over the next three years. Critics say the increase could hurt the most vulnerable.

National Grid spokesperson Virginia Limmiatias said the proposal includes a $2.5 billion investment in its energy network and 250 new jobs.

“We haven’t had a significant rate increase in over a decade," Limmiatias said. "That’s an issue to consider. There is a cost that is directly connected to the delivery of energy.”

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

An attempt by New York state to dismiss a lawsuit against its program that supports financially struggling nuclear power plants with fees collected on ratepayer's utility bills has been rejected.

A state judge will hear arguments from environmental and citizen advocacy groups that New York's public utility regulator, the Public Service Commission (PSC), and several nuclear power plants violated state law.

Julia Botero / WRVO News File Photo

A new study argues that New York state leaders needs to substantially ramp up their green investments to protect the climate.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Staff at the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County powered down the facility last weekend in response to an internal leak.

FitzPatrick spokesperson Tammy Holden says they recently discovered a defect in a few of the plant's more than 30,000 fuel rods - long, thin metal tubes that contain uranium. They're located within the reactor's core and help produce power. The issue was higher than normal radioactive contamination in the water that the fuel rods heat to produce steam.

EPA.gov

As New York State moves toward its goal of getting 50 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources by 2030, much of the focus is on wind and solar energy. But there’s another energy source out there that boosters want to shine a light on.

Pulling methane gas from cow manure and other organic matter has been going on for years. But in order to get biogas to the next level as a source of renewable energy, it needs to become more economically viable.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The sun will be the source of electricity for about 70 percent of the Madison County government complex from now on. 

Development Authority of North Country

Lawmakers and an advocacy group representing Fort Drum are warning about several proposed wind farm projects that are under development in the north country. They say the wind turbines could threaten operations at the military base. That's welcome news to some residents in Jefferson County, who have been fighting one of the developments since it was proposed a decade ago.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The New York State Public Service Commission continues to gather comments on National Grid’s proposed rate hike. In Syracuse this week, the biggest crowd turned out so far in a series of five hearings across the state. And most were opposed to the idea.

ironmike9 / Flickr

National Grid wants to raise rates for its customers in upstate New York, a request that comes at a particularly difficult time for low-income residents.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The transfer of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant to its new owner is officially complete. Exelon, which owns and operates the nearby Nine Mile Point Nuclear Facility Exelon, announced Friday that its negotiations with Entergy are done. The company bought the Oswego County plant last summer for $110 million. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

New York's subsidy program to support financially impaired nuclear power plants has been caught up in the budget negotiations as some lawmakers are trying to halt the program right before it begins. 

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Central New York lawmakers and leaders are applauding the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's approval of the sale of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant as the final step needed to ensure its continued operation, but there's still some work to be done.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Converting from fossil fuel heating systems to electric will help meet New York state’s climate goals and make home heating more affordable, according to a new study. The initial cost of installing electric systems is steep but the report says there are ways the state could help.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Municipalities across New York State are expected to be paying more in energy costs because of the state's nuclear subsidies. That is according to a report from the Alliance for a Green Economy, which opposes the nuclear subsidies. The report estimated the extra cost for six of the state's largest cities. The city of Syracuse is expected to pay an additional $1.4 million over the next 12 years. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said that number does not scare her.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Employees at the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant have taken the facility offline to begin the refueling process, a reality that seemed almost impossible one year ago. FitzPatrick was rescued from closure last summer when Exelon agreed to buy it after New York state approved a massive nuclear subsidy program.  

Great Lakes targeted for offshore wind farms

Dec 26, 2016
Elizabeth Miller / Great Lakes Today

Charles Brush of Cleveland created the world’s first electric wind turbine in the 1800s. He used it to power his home. And since then, wind turbines have popped up all over the world -- but never in the Great Lakes.

That could change with Project Icebreaker, a six-turbine demonstration to be located eight to 10 miles off Cleveland’s shore. 

It could become the country’s second offshore wind farm; the first just started operating in Rhode Island’s waters.

Desiree / via Flickr

Many New Yorkers will celebrate the holidays this season in homes covered with decorative lights, but those holiday lights come at a cost to the state's electricity grid.

Dave Flanagan with the New York State Independent System Operator (NYISO) says all together, the electricity needed to power those lights begin to add up.

"I'd say it's more than a blip," Flanagan said. "It's about 4 percent of our average hourly demand for electricity in New York state and that 750-800 megawatts is equal to powering 800,000 homes."

CREDO.fracking / Flickr

Two years ago, the state banned hydrofracking of natural gas within the state’s borders. But a group of Cornell University scientists who study the effects of climate change say New Yorkers are using more natural gas than ever.

Entergy

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the sale of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant from Entergy to Exelon. The deal to keep the plant open is now one step closer to completion.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) voted unanimously Thursday to approve the sale of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, an essential component to its completion. 

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Update: The Public Service Commission voted unanimously Thursday to approve the sale of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant to Exelon. 

The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) is meeting today to approve the sale of the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant. It's one of two deadlines New York state must meet this week in order to ensure the nuclear plant does not close. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

A group of energy companies and power plants are challenging New York's recently approved Clean Energy Standard (CES), which aims to reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions in the state by subsidizing financially distressed nuclear power plants, including the FitzPatrick and Nine Mile Point plants in Oswego county. The plaintiffs in the case say the state has overstepped its legal boundaries.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Common Council has joined in on an effort from advocates and elected officials to pressure Gov. Andrew Cuomo into signing a bill to give tax credits to geothermal energy. A 30 percent federal tax incentive for geothermal expires at the end of this year.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

A new report from the conservative Empire Center, a fiscal watchdog, finds that New York state's Clean Energy Standard plan to boost renewable sources of energy and support struggling nuclear plants could cost more than the state estimates.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Local IBEW 97 labor union president Ted Skerpon said the past year has been a roller coaster for the employees he represents at the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant and the nearby Nine Mile Point Nuclear Facility. Both were on the brink of closure at one point because of economic losses.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Environmental critics of nuclear power are seizing on a few safety incidents at the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant detailed in a report from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). 

David Chanatry/NY Reporting Project / File Photo

Crestwood Midstream Partners is volunteering to change its plans to store propane in salt caverns along Seneca Lake, but protesters of the plan are not impressed.

On Monday, Crestwood sent a letter to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), saying it would concede to some concerns. For example, it said it would store fewer barrels of propane. It also offered to ship the gas via pipeline instead of by noisy trucks and trains.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Tuesday's announcement that a new company has agreed to take over the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County -- and keep it running -- was cheered in central New York for the jobs and tax revenue it will keep in the region. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo says it is part of his goal for 50 percent of the state’s power to come from renewable energy by 2030.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Nine months after Entergy said it would close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba, the company announced it would be selling the financially struggling plant to Exelon instead. The sale saves more than 600 high-paying jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy.
 

The Mexico Middle School marching band played songs at a FitzPatrick rally with Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday celebrating the announcement.

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