http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/06/nyregion/indian-point-nuclear-power-plant-shutdown.html This is very big news for a power engineer like me. I thought I would share it on PF and explain what the engineering implications are. Indian Point's nameplate rating is 2083 MWe Power supply for the NYC metropolitan area (with 25 million people) is very constrained and considered very critical since Manhattan is considered ground zero for much of the country's commerce. Mountains, bodies of water, and dense cities contribute to the constraints. For more than 40 years, government has been saying "No" to major new transmission to bring power into NYC. Today's grid makes the Hudson Valley a transmission bottleneck. Indian Point is located on the city-side of that bottleneck, so it is vital to the electric reliability of NYC and Long Island, both economically and also from a grid stability point of view. Natural gas into NYC is limited to a single pipeline, so quantity is limited and reliability challenged. Even today there are times when the local utilities are ordered to burn dirty oil rather than clean gas because the grid could not survive the single-point failure contingency of loss of that gas pipeline. Local reliability rules are among the most stringent in the world. There are requirements for minimum quantities of in-city generation and on-island generation for Manhattan. Obviously, cutting new paths for major transmission through such densely populated areas is extremely hard to do. Therefore it is also obvious that the best location for an Indian Point replacement would be at the Indian Point site to make use of the existing transmission and to stabilize the grid. That site is not very good for wind or solar. There will be intense political pressure to make the replacements renewable. The whole downstate NY region has relatively poor wind resources. Offshore on the south side of Long Island would be the best location for wind. If 100% of the 2083 MWe was replaced by renewables, then it would need a 2083 MWe fast-response backup power. The only way I can imagine doing that would be to put 2083 MWe of gas turbines at the Indian Point site. They would have to run for more than 50% (my guess 80%) of the hours in a year. 25-40% overcapacity would have to be built-in to allow for failures and maintenance. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/56290.pdf says about 6 acres of land per MWe for solar. 6*2083=2498 acres of land or about 12 ##km^2##, or 3 times the size of Central Park. Figure 1 times Central Park's area for on-Manhattan's share of the total. To make the 2021 deadline, new sources of power must be proposed, financed, designed, permitted, constructed, tested and put in production within 5 years. Normally, the permitting process alone takes more than 5 years. http://www.chpexpress.com/ This proposed $2.2 billion Champlain Hudson Power Project could bring 1000 MWe of hydro power from Quebec to Manhattan. It depends on laying HVDC cables under Lake Champlain and on the Hudson River bed. If that counts as renewable and sufficiently reliable, it could be a blessing in this situation. It could also be a money printing machine for investors because the price of energy is much higher in Manhattan than in Quebec. Nevertheless, private equity financing by The Blackstone Group, and the engineering design must both be considered iffy at this point. IMO, to meet the 2021 deadline is a colossal challenge, for power engineering but renewable power in particular. This will be the test case to dwarf all test cases with the eyes of the entire world watching. It could be a giant success, or a total disaster. The outcome will have a big influence on world energy policies for the rest of the 21st century. Need I add more superlatives?