Buffalo: Data center plans discussed for NRG Power Plant in Dunkirk, New Yorksite

Jun 20, 2021 | Posted by Eric Bell

Discussions have begun around the transformation of the disused NRG Power Plant in Dunkirk, New York, into a new data center. The 76-acre site was operational from the 1950s to 2015 has been pinned as a potential location in a report by the City of Dunkirk and Chautauqua County. Dunkirk is near Buffalo NY on banks of Lake Erie. 

The report outlines the plant already has the necessary infrastructure components to facilitate the development of a data center, but that the site could also be paired with renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind.

The report noted that significant investment would be required to develop and power the site and that long-term job opportunities would be low. Other suggestions for the site include industrial development, transformation into a battery storage site, an offshore wind site, migro-grid development, and a clean slate, where everything is demolished.

While different options are being explored for the development of the site, it is not without its faults. The report outlines that there is potential asbestos, on-site surface, subsurface and groundwater contamination, the presence of coal ash lagoons, as well as lead and PCB-containing materials on-site.

Commenting on the site’s potential, Mark Geise, Deputy County Executive for Economic Development and CEO of the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, said: “Even though we are a long way from completing our mission, I look forward to continuing our collaborative process with Mayor Rosas and his team, as well as NRG, to realize a successful site reuse in the future.”
NRG Facility in Dunkirk