When Indian Point Shuts Down, Will Storage or Efficiency Save the Day?
Competing visions have emerged for how to ensure capacity for New York City when the nuclear plant nearby turns off.
Closing a nuclear power plant is like wading through wet concrete: The hard part is yet to come.
That hard part is coming fast to New York, where the state’s political leadership committed to ramping up to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 while shutting down the clean baseload power of the Indian Point nuclear plant by 2021.
To meet several environmental regulations while providing for the necessary energy and capacity to serve the nation's most populous city will require some energy acrobatics. Adding 450 megawatts of energy storage could lower costs and carbon emissions compared to other options, while meeting grid requirements, a new studyshows.
"Storage can really be a viable option in these very tailored needs that are difficult to meet with other conventional resources," said author Ed Burgess, senior manager at Strategen Consulting.
A different plan produced by environmental groups opposed to the nuclear plant argues that massive amounts of energy efficiency, combined with the required renewables expansion, can fill the gap. With the clock ticking, the state will have to decide which emerging grid technology deserves its favor, if it wants to avoid building a bunch of new gas peaking capacity.
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