A study on the potential reuse of the NRG Power Plant in the City of Dunkirk recommended redeveloping the site as a data center. The City of Dunkirk, Chautauqua County, and consultant, Bergmann, presented the findings on Tuesday.
The study concluded that, overall, the redevelopment strategy for the NRG Power Plant would have the greatest benefits if it allowed the community to access workforce development opportunities, generated tax revenue, included a clean energy component, supported public access to the waterfront, and aided in comprehensive economic development for the region.
The study also includes recommendations of immediate next steps that the City of Dunkirk and Chautauqua County should advance in order to better understand site/building constraints and future opportunities, to position the site for funding to facilitate redevelopment. These include: continuing to collaborate with NRG Energy; pursuing a Build-Ready Program Application through NYSERDA; conducting additional environmental investigations; investigating interconnection costs; completing energy modeling; collaborating with the NYS Climate Justice Working Group; and performing site marketing and promotion.
The NRG Power Plant operated from the 1950s until 2015. It was officially mothballed in 2016, with the decommissioning process beginning in 2020. The NRG Power Plant was an economic engine in the City of Dunkirk, contributing to approximately 40 percent of the City’s tax base and providing close to 150 well-paying jobs at its peak.
The study was funded by a $60,000 Appalachian Regional Commission POWER grant with local matching funds from the City of Dunkirk, the County IDA, and the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation.