Letter: Another Surcharge

As you reported, the state Public Service Commission wants to add a surcharge to electric bills to subsidize operations of unprofitable nuclear power plants in upstate New York (Nuclear Reaction, Feb. 10).

Notably, electricity rates for Hudson Valley residents and businesses have already been subjected to a surcharge for a separate but similar subsidy scheme. In 2013 the New York Independent System Operator and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission designated the Hudson Valley as a “capacity zone,” or a region targeted for electricity surcharges to finance construction of power plants within the capacity zone. However, the plants do not necessarily supply power for that zone’s grid. This means the increase in supply from the plant does not necessarily translate to lower electricity rates in the zone.

Under the Hudson Valley Capacity Zone program, each of us has so far paid to build a diesel/gas power plant near Middletown.

Diana Hird, Cold Spring

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