Nuclear Matters Applauds New York’s Plan to Include Nuclear Energy as Part of Clean Energy Standard

Washington, D.C. (Jan. 26, 2016) — Nuclear Matters today issued the following statement on the New York Public Service Commission’s (PSC) decision to move towards the adoption of a Clean Energy Standard (CES) which would include non-emitting generation resources, including existing nuclear energy plants upstate.  The details of the plan were included in a white paper issued yesterday by the PSC, which also states that New York will create a new market mechanism to prevent the premature retirement of upstate nuclear energy plants, specifically by counting nuclear as a source of zero-emission electric generation.  

“New York is a leader in working towards a clean energy future and we applaud the state’s recognition to include some of its existing nuclear energy plants in its carbon-cutting plan.  This reinforces the fact that in order to make meaningful carbon reductions, nuclear energy must be a part of the mix.  In counting the power generated by New York’s upstate nuclear energy plants in its CES, New York is properly valuing these assets for their significant role in producing carbon-free energy.  We are also pleased with the state’s decision to prevent the premature retirement of clean, safe and reliable nuclear plants through the creation of new market incentives.  

However, all of New York’s existing nuclear energy plants should be supported as part of the CES, not just those upstate.  The state’s current existing nuclear plants provide 60% of the state’s carbon-free power and over 30% of the state’s energy.  Put simply, New York cannot afford to lose any of its existing nuclear assets, as this would hamstring the state’s ability to meet its clean energy goals.  Additional premature plant retirements would also come at a detriment to the reliability of the grid, thousands of jobs, and millions in tax revenues.

New York’s inclusion of nuclear in its CES is unprecedented, and represents exactly the kind of action that must be taken to preserve the existing nuclear fleet.  We are hopeful that other states will follow in New York’s footsteps to properly value nuclear for its carbon-free attributes and ensure a cleaner, more secure energy future.”