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Leaders question Huntley power plant closing

Local officials, including the Erie County Executive and Town of Tonawanda leaders, are urging the New York State Public Service Commission to look more closely at NRG Energy's decision to close the Huntley power station in Tonawanda. In a letter to the PSC, leaders raise questions about New York Independent System Operator's decision that closing the plant would not adversely affect local power. County Executive Mark Poloncarz and others dispute that.

"They're saying the closing would be dependent upon the importation of power from Canada and Pennsylvania," Poloncarz said. "We question the impact of that on the reliability of our network if they're requiring the importation of power from outside our area."

NRG announced back in August that the company had decided to close the plant, citing economic reasons.

Local elected and school officials say losing the Huntley plant would cost approximately 70 jobs but would also create a negative impact on the Town of Tonawanda and on the Ken-Ton School District.

NRG pays those entities money under a program that keeps the plant operating off the tax rolls. If Huntley closes, the school district stands to lose $3 million in annual payments, while the town could lose up to $2.2 million each year. The county would lose $800,000 each year.