Entergy Corp., owners of Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, will sell its other nuclear plant in the state, the James A. Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant on Lake Ontario near Oswego.
After months of talks, Entergy announced on Aug. 9 that it will sell the 800-megawatt-capacity plant to Exelon Generation for $110 million. Headquartered in Chicago, Exelon owns a nuclear plant next door to Fitzpatrick, Nine Mile Point, and another in upstate Wayne County.
Entergy announced last year that it would shut down the struggling Fitzpatrick plant, a move that Gov. Andrew Cuomo strongly opposed, citing the 600 jobs the community would lose.
In a joint statement, Exelon and Entergy said the deal was facilitated in part by the passage of the state’s Clean Energy Standard. The program, pushed by Cuomo, mandates that the state get 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. It also offers a subsidy worth billions to private operators to keep New York’s three upstate nuclear plants afloat.
If the sale is approved, Exelon will own all three upstate plants. Indian Point did not qualify for the subsidy, as the state’s report said power costs for consumers should remain high enough to cover the plant’s expenses.
While Cuomo has pushed for Indian Point to be shut down throughout its relicensing process, he has consistently supported upstate nuclear plants, touting their emissions-free energy generation.
“This state cannot lose our supply of nuclear energy because it’s important to keep the balance of supply,” Cuomo said at a rally in support of the plant Tuesday, according to the Albany Times Union. “If you lose nuclear, you’ll see that natural gas will spike or we’ll be subject to price increases from other sources because we don’t have balanced alternatives.”
Under the agreement, Entergy would transfer FitzPatrick’s operating license to Exelon. The deal still requires regulatory review and approval by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the state Public Service Commission.
The sale is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017, according to the energy companies.