US Entergy Corporation has completed sale of the single-unit James A Fitzpatrick NPP in New York State to Exelon Generation, which agreed to buy the plant last August. Entergy had previously said it would close the 838MWe boiling water reactor by January this year, for economic reasons. However, Exelon agreed to buy the plant, following the adoption by the New York Public Service Commission of the Clean Energy Standard (CES), which supports continued operation of nuclear capacity. The CES explicitly recognises the carbon-free generation provided by New York's upstate NPPs as critical in enabling it to meet its climate change targets. This includes two units at Nine Mile Point and single units at RE Ginna and James A Fitzpatrick.
The $110m agreement to transfer Fitzpatrick's operating licences, decommissioning trust fund and liability to Exelon required regulatory approval by state and federal agencies including the US Department of Justice, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the New York State Public Service Commission. The transfer of Fitzpatrick to Exelon was formally completed on 31 March.
Exelon has named Joseph Pacher, formerly site vice president at the R E Ginna nuclear power plant, as site vice president of Fitzpatrick. The plant's former site vice president, Bryan Sullivan, was retained by Entergy under the original transaction agreement. Exelon said it does not anticipate any immediate change to staffing levels at the plant, which has about 600 employees.
Entergy said completion of the Fitzpatrick transaction was "another step" in its exit from the merchant power business. In January, the company agreed with the state of New York to close the two-unit Indian Point plant - the only nuclear power plant in the state not included in the CES - in 2020-2021.Exelon now operates all of New York's upstate nuclear power plants. It said the acquisition of Fitzpatrick was in line with its efforts to preserve existing US nuclear energy facilities and their environmental, economic and reliability benefits.