WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Nuclear Energy Institute today released a new study showing an annual impact of $358 million to New York's economy resulting from the operation of Exelon Generation's R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant. Including New York state, the total annual economic impact throughout the United States is approximately $450 million.
The study is titled: Economic Impacts of the R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant.
"This study confirms that Ginna greatly strengthens the local, regional and state economies through job creation, tax payments, and direct and secondary spending. In many ways, nuclear energy facilities and their employees are invaluable to the quality of life in the communities where they operate," said Richard Myers, NEI's vice president for policy development, planning and supplier programs.
The study analyzed the impact of Ginna's operations through 2029—the end of its 60-year operating license. Spending, and thus the economic impact of the plant, is considerably higher in years with refueling and maintenance outages when an additional 800 to 1,000 skilled workers earn up to $25 million. Ginna performs this type of outage on an 18-month frequency.
"Operationally, Ginna is an outstanding performer and is recognized as a reliable generating asset in the nuclear industry," said Maria Korsnick, chief nuclear officer, Constellation Energy Nuclear Group and senior vice president, Exelon.
"Ginna creates very positive financial impacts for the entire state of New York and, as this study shows, it is a very important asset for the local economy providing affordable, reliable, baseload electricity that New York homeowners and businesses can count on. Ginna also provides tremendous carbon-prevention benefits that are all too often overlooked. This study affirms Ginna's importance as a powerful economic engine and a clean energy asset."
Key findings of NEI's study include:
- Exelon provides higher-than-average wages at Ginna: Exelon Generation directly employs approximately 700 people at Ginna. Because they are technical in nature, these jobs typically are higher-paying. This direct employment leads to more than 800 additional jobs in other industries in New York and the United States.
- Ginna's annual spending creates a huge ripple effect in the state and nationally: The facility's operation stimulates $358 million of economic output in New York and nearly $450 million across the entire U.S. economy. Further, the study finds that for every dollar of output from Ginna, the New York economy produced $1.52, while the U.S. economy produced $1.91.
- Ginna is the largest taxpayer in Wayne County: Ginna paid more than $10 million in state and local property and sales taxes in 2014. The total tax impact (direct and secondary) was nearly $80 million in tax revenue to the state and federal governments.
- Ginna is a highly reliable source of electricity: Over the past decade, Ginna maintained a capacity factor (measure of performance reliability) of 95 percent or greater. This is consistently higher than the nuclear energy industry average and significantly higher than other forms of electric generation. This reliable production helps offset the potentially severe price volatility of other energy sources (e.g., natural gas) and the intermittency of renewable electricity sources. Note: The "Additional Reliability Study" released by the New York Independent System Operator in May 2014 found, "The study results indicate that, for the system as modeled, the retirement of Ginna would result in bulk and non-bulk reliability criteria violations in years 2015 and 2018. A mitigation solution equivalent to the impact of the full output of the Ginna plant would be necessary to maintain reliability in the Rochester area."
- Ginna is a critical part of New York's clean energy mix: Combined, Ginna and New York's other nuclear energy facilities generate approximately 30 percent of the state's total electricity. They also generate nearly 60 percent of the state's carbon-free electricity. This emissions-free energy aids the state in meeting its clean air objectives under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Ginna alone produces more emissions-free electricity on an annual basis than wind and solar combined in New York. Ginna's output helps prevent the emission of more than two million tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of taking almost 400,000 cars off the road. In fact, shutting down Ginna would undo all the renewables investment made by New York in the past decade to comply with RGGI requirements.
On an annual basis, Ginna greatly contributes to the quality of life in the local communities. It is the largest contributor to the United Way in Wayne County and actively supports the annual "Day of Caring." Ginna employees serve their communities as volunteer firefighters, scout leaders, emergency medical technicians and board members. They also hold annual fund-raising events, provide education and career development opportunities, take part in environmental organizations and programs, and participate in many other community-friendly activities.
NEI conducted the analysis using a nationally recognized model to estimate the facility's economic impacts on the state and national economies. Regional Economic Models Inc. developed the Policy Insight Plus (PI+) economic impact modeling system, which is the methodology employed in this analysis.
About Exelon Generation's R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant:
The R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant is located on 426 acres along the south shores of Lake Ontario in Ontario, N.Y., about 20 miles northeast of Rochester. Ginna is a Westinghouse pressurized water reactor with an output of approximately 580 megawatts—enough electricity to power 400,000 homes. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has licensed the plant to operate through 2029.
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry's policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available at www.nei.org.
CONTACT: Contact NEI's media relations staff at email@example.com, 202.739.8000 during business hours or 703.644.8805 after hours and weekends.
Source:Nuclear Energy Institute