March 4, 2013

NYSEG bills include new charge

PLATTSBURGH — As of Friday, all New York State Electric and Gas bills began including a new reliability support services charge that customers can expect to pay for several years.

The fee is typically set at about $1.11 per month for a residential customer using 600 kilowatt-hours monthly; $29 for a small nonresidential customer with 50 kilowatts of demand and using 12,600 kilowatt-hours per month; and $1,680 for a large nonresidential customer with 2,000 kilowatts of demand and using 720,000 kilowatt-hours per month.

“This charge enables us to recover the cost incurred to keep the Cayuga Generating Facility in the Town of Lansing operating to ensure reliable electricity service in the region,” a NYSEG news release said.

The power plant, owned by Cayuga Operating Company LLC, filed a notice in July 2012 saying it planned to mothball the Cayuga Generating Facility as of Jan. 16 of this year.

NYSEG said it conducted an analysis of the proposal that revealed adverse reliability impacts to customers.

“We identified transmission system reinforcements as one potential mitigation measure,” the release said. “However, it was determined that these reinforcements would not be in service until after the proposed Jan. 16, 2013, mothball date for the Cayuga facility.”

So NYSEG decided Cayuga would have to remain in operation until appropriate alternatives to its production could be put in place.

On Dec. 17, 2012, the Public Service Commission OK’d an agreement submitted by NYSEG and Cayuga outlining “the terms and conditions under which we would procure reliability support services from the Cayuga facility for one year beginning Jan.16, 2013,” the release said.

NYSEG is looking for less pricey alternatives to its arrangement with Cayuga; “reliability support services will need to be in place for several years until our transmission system in the region can be reinforced,” the power company said.

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