Mayor: Very Encouraged After Meeting in Albany About LIPA

Report says Governor Cuomo's office will work to encourage repowering of old plants.

Newsday reported on Thursday that Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant's planned meeting in Albany last week gave her hope that New York State was still backing efforts to repower antiquated power plants on Long Island.

Officials had already put their support behind a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission against National Grid by Port Jefferson village this August claiming the company's business practices were unfair and caused artificially higher energy prices on Long Island.

"Governor Andrew Cuomo's office indicated it intends to work with the framework of legislation introduced earlier this year to encourage repowering," Newsday reported.

"We're going to continue to pursue these proposals as part of our overall energy policy," spokesman Rich Azzopardi told the paper. Azzopardi was referring to a bill that plans to use funds from a Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to encourage rennovating old power plant sites, according to Newsday.

Click here to read the full story on Newsday's website (subscription required.)

Trying to strengthen language from a bill passed in 2011 to encourage developers to repower Port Jefferson’s power plant, Sen. Ken LaValle proposed putting those same incentives into the New York State budget this year. That attempt failed when the language was removed from the final version, according to director of communications for the senator, Drew Biondo.

Click here to read our full story on this bill.

According to Thomas Bjurlof, a resident of Port Jefferson who is an energy and information technology consultant, that bill encourages rennovating old plants, but only if they are for sale, which National Grid has already said Port Jefferson's plant is not.

Port Jefferson's filing with the FERC challenges the utility company's energy market practices, holding back on upgrading old power plants while seeking contracts for new power elsewhere.

Many institutions in the village, including the school district, the library and village government get a major portion of revenue from taxes paid by the utility on the power plant property. National Grid filed a grievance last year with Brookhaven Town and the village to lower its taxes by 90 percent.

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