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Industry News

Entergy to Close FitzPatrick Nuclear Station in New York

LCG, November 5, 2015--Entergy Corporation Monday announced that it will close the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in New York. Entergy stated that the decision is driven by reduced revenues cause by low natural gas prices and a market design in New York that does not adequately compensate nuclear power generation for the benefits provided. Entergy reported to the operator of the electric grid, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), and to the New York State Public Service Commission that it will retire the plant at the end of the current fuel cycle, which is expected to occur in late 2016 or early 2017.

The James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant is an 838-MW electric generating station with over 600 employees. The carbon-free facility is located in Oswego County and began commercial operations in 1975. In 2008 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) extended the operating license for the facility to October 17, 2034.

Entergy's chairman and chief executive officer stated, "Given the financial challenges our merchant power plants face from sustained wholesale power price declines and other unfavorable market conditions, we have been assessing each asset. As part of this review, we previously announced the closure of the Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station in Massachusetts and have now decided that despite good operational performance, market conditions require us to also close the FitzPatrick nuclear plant."

Entergy stated that its estimates of current and forecast power prices have fallen by about $10 per megawatt-hour, which equates to a projected annual loss of more than $60 million in revenues for FitzPatrick. Moreover, the plant owner receives no compensation for providing carbon-free electricity from a highly reliable facility, with on-site fuel storage.

Over the past two months, Entergy and New York State officials were unable to resolve the problem and achieve an agreeable solution.

The Governor of New York stated, "The closing of the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant will devastate the lives of the more than 600 employees and their families. Good corporate citizenship must appreciate that there are many factors that count as the 'bottom line.' The State of New York will pursue every legal and regulatory avenue in an attempt to stop Entergy's actions and its callous disregard for their skilled and loyal workforce."

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