Exelon to buy Fitzpatrick nuclear plant

09 August 2016

Exelon is to assume ownership and operation of Entergy's James A Fitzpatrick nuclear power plant in upstate New York after the two companies reached an agreement worth $110 million following the state's adoption of a Clean Energy Standard (CES) supporting the continued operation of nuclear capacity.

Fitzpatrick (Entergy)

Under the agreement, Entergy would transfer Fitzpatrick's operating licence to Exelon, which already operates Nine Mile Point and Ginna. Subject to regulatory review and approval by state and federal agencies, the transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017.

Entergy had previously announced plans to close the single-unit 838 MWe in January 2017 for economic reasons. The CES adopted last week by the New York Public Service Commission explicitly recognises the carbon-free generation provided by New York's upstate nuclear power plants - two units at Nine Mile Point and single units at RE Ginna and James A Fitzpatrick - as critical in enabling it to meet its climate change targets. It provides a mechanism to ensure that the units, at risk because of the economic challenges from the short-term nature of the deregulated market they operate in and competition from low-cost gas and federally subsidized wind power, to remain in operation.

Exelon has already indicated that approval of the CES means that it will invest millions of dollars into the upstate plants. The company has now committed to refuelling Fitzpatrick in January 2017. "We are pleased to have reached an agreement for the continued operation of FitzPatrick," Exelon CEO Chris Crane said.

Entergy CEO Leo Danault said the pending sale was in the "best interests" of all the company's stakeholders, and both companies cited the adoption of the CES for helping to facilitate the transaction. "We would like to thank New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his administration for being progressive in placing a value on the carbon-free attribute that nuclear power plants provide," Danault said.

Crane added: "We thank Governor Cuomo and his administration for their part in facilitating an agreement to save Fitzpatrick. His leadership on the CES and preserving zero-emissions assets has truly positioned New York as the nation's leader in clean energy."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News