On energy, 'we must plan ... while dispensing with politics, ideology and misinformation'

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As a retired engineering manager at both the New York Power Authority and Entergy Nuclear, I am dismayed at both the naiveté of Mr. Randolph Hurst’s letter to the editor, "Get on board, Assemblyman Brabenec" and others who hold a similar pie-in-the-sky attitude toward renewable energy along with their misrepresentations regarding other forms of electric generation.

Mr. Hurst’s worry of Indian Point and CPV contributing to global warming, climate change, extreme weather catastrophes, sickness, death and destruction is silly hyperbole. He is statistically in far more danger driving his car to the local supermarket.

The fact is that solar and wind are fine as intermittent, supplementary energy sources but the need for large scale, base load generation (i.e. 24x7, 365 days per year) will be necessary for many decades. Wind simply doesn’t blow all the time and the sun only shines part of the time.

The technology for large, long-term storage of their energy doesn’t exist at this time and all of the viable sites in the state for hydro have already been utilized.

Regarding power trends for 2016 (last published), a New York Independent System Operator report stated the total generating capacity in the state at 38,576 megawatts (MW) with renewable energy accounting for 6,174 megawatts with the downstate region being the heaviest demand.

In the summer of 2016 the reliability requirement was 39,198 MW with total resources available at 41,552 MW; a mere 2,354 MW beyond needs.

If this is a continuing trend along with the loss of Indian Point’s 2,000 plus MW, the region may face a future of serious energy shortfalls which renewable energy technology cannot mitigate for many years into the future.

I tend to agree with Assemblyman Brabenec’s concern with the closing of Indian Point and the public resistance to any new generation construction.

Even if the expectation is to import electricity from out of state, additional transmission lines will be required and this will take time, money and possibly additional real estate.

One recent proposal was for the construction of a submarine cable under the Hudson River; this was resisted.

When the New York Power Authority was building the Marcy South Line in the 1980’s, much resistance occurred.

In my opinion we must plan and build infrastructure in an intelligent and reasonable manner considering public need, economics and the environment along with proven science while dispensing with politics, ideology and misinformation.

William E. Lemanski


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