Countdown to Shutdown: ‘Going green’ after Indian Point closure

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The closure of Indian Point nuclear power plant in 2021 will result in the region losing 25% of its energy supply, leaving residents to ask if there will be enough power to light up their homes.

The loss of energy has some residents ready to turn to solar power.

David Niskanen, of Yonkers, says “going green” will save him money on his electric bill and will give his property a higher resale value.

Part I: Countdown to Shutdown: Environmental, safety concerns swirl over Indian Point closure 
Part 2: Countdown to Shutdown: The effect of lost jobs, revenue in Cortlandt 

“We had a goal to make the house green and efficient as possible, especially having three little ones,” he told News 12. "A lot of people that are buying now are getting conscious of energy and efficiency of their homes. It’s a sale pitch for when we look to sell eventually."

Solar energy is a booming industry in New York state, which ranks among the top 10 in the country for solar installations.

Karl Rabago, the executive director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center, says the loss of Indian Point won’t “threaten our supply of electricity.”

“When a plant like Indian Point shuts down…other power plants increase their operations and we never notice a difference,” he says.

He says the hole left by the plant’s closure will likely be replaced with natural gas. But natural gas, although cleaner than energy producers like coal, still isn’t great for the environment.

“We want our grid to be more renewable,” says Rabago. “We want to stop producing so much carbon dioxide.”

Rabago says the state is pushing aggressively to meet their goal of 40% renewable energy by 2030 – offering tax breaks and incentives to home owners and businesses to go green.

He says it will take a combination of renewable energy and home efficiency to meet the goal.

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