Week Ahead: Events for the week of Monday, August 1 

click to enlarge Leonard Brock - FILE PHOTO
  • Leonard Brock
The Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative at United Way will hold a public meeting Tuesday night in Penfield. It is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on August 2 at the Eastside Family YMCA, 1835 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road. 

The event is being billed as a "community Town Hall meeting" and it is free and open to the public. 

The initiative's director, Leonard Brock, told the Democrat and Chronicle that he would provide an overview of the effort and its philosophy at the meeting, and that he would also take questions. It is the initiative's first meeting outside of the city. BY CHRISTINE CARRIE FIEN 

The state Public Service Commission will vote on a new statewide clean energy standard during its meeting this morning. The standard, if approved, would provide heavy subsidies for New York’s nuclear power plants.

The meeting is at 10:30 a.m. in Albany.

The standard would require the state’s electric utilities to buy more of their power from low- or zero-carbon sources such as wind farms, solar arrays, and hydropower projects. But the standard also defines nuclear power plants, such as Exelon’s Ginna nuclear plant, as zero-emissions generators. That distinction will put the plants in line for $965 million in subsidies, covered by electric customers, over the next two years.

With the exception of the Indian Point facility close to New York City, New York’s nuclear plants face serious economic hardship. Nuclear plants are expensive to operate and maintain, and they haven’t fared well in New York’s competitive energy market. Prices have been suppressed by natural gas power plants, which produce large amounts of electricity cheaply, largely due to inexpensive, plentiful domestic natural gas supplies.

Some state officials say that they want to keep nuclear plants viable because they are able to generate massive quantities of electricity with minimal greenhouse gas emissions. The plants are valuable to the state, and to the state’s climate change efforts, they say.

But one by one, the operators have threatened to shut down the nuclear plants unless the state’s electricity pricing scheme is fixed so that nuclear plants remain viable. (Ginna’s operator threatened to shut the plant down unless the state allowed it and Rochester Gas and Electric to work out a temporary agreement for financial support, which is now in place.) BY JEREMY MOULE 


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