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NRC Issues Subsequent License Renewals for First Time to Nuclear Reactors in Florida

LCG, December 11, 2019--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff recently approved Florida Power & Light's (FPL's) application for an additional 20 years of operation for Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Units 3 and 4. This is the first time the NRC has issued renewed licenses authorizing reactor operation from 60 to 80 years. The subsequent (or second) license renewals (SLRs) for Turkey Point Unit 3 and Unit 4 now expire on July 19, 2052 and April 10, 2053, respectively.

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New York Poised to Close Last Coal-fire Power Plant

LCG, December 4, 2019--The last operating coal-fired power plant in New York is moving toward closure shortly. Last month, Somerset Operating Company, a subsidiary of Riesling Power LLC, submitted a request to the New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) to waive the state's required, 180-day notice to close the Somerset Station, allowing the facility to be retired on February 15, 2020. Closure is contingent on approvals by both NYSPSC and the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which will evaluate if it will cause an adverse effect on grid reliability.

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Industry News

Entergy's Palisades Nuclear Power Plant to Close in 2018

LCG, December 9, 2016--Entergy Corporation and Consumers Energy announced yesterday that they have agreed to an early termination of their power purchase agreement (PPA) for the Palisades Power Plant in 2018, when the nuclear facility will now be closed. The result is an estimated cost reduction to Consumers' customers by up to $172 million over four years. The 811-MW nuclear facility is located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan and has been generating carbon-free electricity since December 31, 1971. The current operating license expires in 2031.

The companies entered into the original PPA in 2007, when Entergy acquired Palisades from Consumers Energy for $380 million. The PPA committed Consumers Energy to purchase nearly all of the power that Palisades generates through April 2022. Under the new plan - and given regulatory approval of the request to terminate the PPA in 2018 - Palisades will be refueled as scheduled in the spring of 2017 and operate through the end of the fuel cycle, then permanently shut down on October 1, 2018.

Market conditions have changed significantly since the original PPA was executed, and more economic alternatives are now available. The transaction is expected to result in $344 million in savings, $172 million of which is expected to lower Consumers Energy customers' costs over the early termination period from 2018 to 2022, and $172 million of which Consumers Energy will pay to Entergy for early PPA termination. The early termination payment to Entergy will provide funds for the plant's transition from operations to decommissioning.

Entergy's chairman and chief executive officer stated, "Entergy recognizes the consequences of a Palisades shutdown for our approximately 600 employees who have run the plant safely and reliably, and for the surrounding community, and we will work closely with both to provide support during the transition. We determined that a shutdown in 2018 is prudent when comparing the transaction to the business risks of continued operation."

Consumers Energy plans to ask the Michigan Public Service Commission to approve the early termination of the PPA, effective May 31, 2018. CMS and Palisades will sign a new PPA under which the plant would continue to operate until October 1, 2018. Entergy will notify the power grid operator, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, as well as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), of its intent to permanently shut down and decommission Palisades.
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