Is natural gas heading to Tompkins County?

By Jillian Marshall

Is natural gas heading to Tompkins County?

June 14, 2013 Updated Jun 14, 2013 at 12:41 AM EST

Ithaca, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A proposal to repower the Cayuga Power Plant may change it from coal-fueled to natural gas. But the change could potentially cut approximately 30 jobs at the plant.

Upstate New York Power Producers presented plans to the Tompkins County Environmental Management Council at Cornell University Thursday night.

Included are four options, all of which have the plant transitioning into natural gas, with either a transmission upgrade or repowering the facility entirely.

Currently, New York State Electric and Gas is studying the effects for both options.

Chief Operating Officer of Upstate New York Power Producers Jerry Goodenough says he thinks the change will be beneficial to the plant and to the Southern Tier.

"We think it's an enabler for renewables, we think it is more efficient as far as emissions. We think we can make the transition seamless and still provide for reliability in the area," Goodenough said.

The power plant is currently under a one-year reliability services with NYSEG, the plant will produce energy out of coal until a decision is made.

The Tompkins County Environmental Management Council says they will have another speaker with the opposite opinion speak about the proposal, but not until this fall.

If the repowering is approved, it will take full effect in 2017.

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