However, evaluating the electricity generation future in Lower Hudson Valley under under two scenarios: (A) Indian Point is closed, (B) Indian Point remains operational, demonstrates the true cost of fear.
Since variable renewable generation has zero marginal cost, all electricity produced from such sources enter the generation mix irrespective of the price of electricity. Methane gas-fired electricity generates the marginal unit of electricity, and therefore expands and contracts to balance the net electricity demand. For simplicity’s sake, we assume each unit of variable renewable generation will displace a unit of baseload generation (sufficient & lossless storage/transmission to get distributed variable generation to when/where needed).
Under Scenario A, the bulk of incremental generation will be from two combined cycle gas turbine projects – CPV Valley and Cricket Valley, as identified by NYISO’s deactivation assessment (NYISO, 2017). While CPV Valley has been operational since October 2018, the plant is expected to ramp up with IP’s closure (McKenna, 2017). Beyond these plants, residual demand is balanced by ramping up existing fossil fuel plants in NYC. Gas/oil duel fuel plants in the State had a capacity utilization factor of 62% in 2018 (NYISO, 2019a).
Under Scenario B, the growth of solar and wind displaces generation from fossil fuel plants. The grid mix, and resultant greenhouse gas emissions difference between the two scenarios is tabulated below.