The New York Public Service Commission approved a repowering project at the Dunkirk coal-fired power plant.
The $140 million agreement between National Grid and NRG (NYSE: NRG) assures operation of the plant for 10 years and the capability to generate 435-MW of natural gas-fired electricity. The new plant is expected to begin operations in the fall of 2015.
The companies will refuel three coal units to add the capability to generate the electricity using natural gas. Currently, only one 75-MW unit is operating on coal. The project will give the plant dual-fuel capability and allow the use of coal as a back-up fuel source if natural gas is unavailable or in short supply.
NRG released a report in 2013 said converting the plant could reduce wholesale electricity prices in western New York by as much as 5 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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