March 3, 2011

How long for our local power plant?

When NYSEG upgraded the power lines between Cortland County and the Etna substation, I heard rumors that it was to strengthen Tompkins County's connections to the grid so that AES Cayuga (formerly NYSEG's Milliken Station) could shut down without major disruptions. That power plant is now for sale again, as part of AES Eastern Energy, "four of the six plants AES purchased from NYSEG in 1999 for $1.85 billion."

What's the expected value of those four plants?

The value of AES Eastern Energy fell by $827 million in 2010, according to the company's fourth-quarter 2010 financial report, and the division now has a potential market value of "zero."

"Any salvage value of the asset group is expected to be offset by environmental and other remediation costs," according to the document, which blames state regulatory changes and falling natural gas prices for the decline.

If that plant closes, I wonder how long the rail line through Ithaca will have. The salt mine certainly uses it, but I see a lot fewer salt cars than coal cars going through.

It sounds like Governor Cuomo's Mandate Relief Redesign Team pretty much failed, on both process and substance. Better than nothing, perhaps, but not much better.

Posted by simon at March 3, 2011 8:44 AM in , , ,
Note on photos