Sale of FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant Final

The James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant officially belongs to Exelon Generation. The sale of the Scriba, NY plant, finalized on March 31, has been long-expected.

“We look forward to bringing FitzPatrick’s highly skilled team of professionals into the Exelon Generation nuclear program, and to continue delivering to New York the environmental, economic and grid reliability benefits of this important energy asset,” Chris Crane, president and CEO of Exelon, said in a release.

The FitzPatrick plant, an 838-MW boiling water reactor commissioned in July 1975, was put on the chopping block in late 2015 by then-owner Entergy Corp. The company cited economics in its decision to power down the plant, saying it was no longer feasible to run the plant in the current climate.

Exelon and Entergy announced in July 2016 that they were working to strike a deal for the sale of the plant. The announcement came shortly after the New York Department of Public Services released a proposal to subsidize zero-emissions nuclear plants upstate.

The Clean Energy Standard was adopted on August 1, 2016, and a final deal between Entergy and Exelon was announced days later on August 9.

“We applaud Governor Cuomo and his administration for their vision and leadership in adopting the Clean Energy Standard, which made possible this agreement that has saved thousands of jobs, brought reinvestment of hundreds of millions of dollars and positioned New York as a national leader in clean energy,” Crane said.

The $110 million agreement transfers FitzPatrick’s operating license and the plant’s decommissioning trust fund and liability to Exelon. The agreement has been approved by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the New York State Public Service Commission.

With its change in ownership, the plant will be under new oversite. Joseph Pacher, formerly site vice president at Exelon’s R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant, will take over as site vice president of the FitzPatrick plant. Brian Sullivan, the former site vice president for the FitzPatrick plant, has been retained by Entergy.

“Joe knows the Exelon Management Model well and led Ginna during its transition into the Exelon Generation fleet in 2014,” Bryan Hanson, chief nuclear officer with Exelon Generation, said in a release. “We are confident that his leadership will ensure a smooth transition for employees and the community, as FitzPatrick continues to deliver safe, clean and reliable electricity to the regional power grid.”

 

Abby L. Harvey is a POWER reporter.