Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Exelon To Purchase FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant

FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant
Exelon Generation, owner of the nation’s largest nuclear fleet, has agreed to assume ownership and management of operations of Entergy Corporation’s James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba, NY.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who asked the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) to adopt a Clean Energy Standard (CES) benefitting the state’s nuclear power plants, helped facilitate the transaction.

In recent months, Entergy and Exelon began discussing a path forward that would allow the plant to continue operating beyond January 2017. The CES, approved last week, will save thousands of high-paying jobs and spur hundreds of millions of dollars in short-term investments in energy infrastructure in upstate New York. Without the CES, upstate nuclear plants would have been at risk of closure.

Under the agreement totaling $110 million, Entergy would transfer FitzPatrick’s operating license to Exelon. The New York Power Authority has agreed to transfer the decommissioning trust fund and liability for FitzPatrick to Entergy, and if regulatory approvals are obtained and the transaction closes, Entergy would then transfer the fund and associated liability to Exelon. Transaction closure is dependent upon regulatory review and 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 transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017. As Exelon has previously indicated, approval of the CES means the company will reinvest millions right back into the upstate economy, including approximately $400-500 million in operations, integration and refueling expenditures for the upstate plants in spring of 2017, all of which will have a positive impact across the state.

Exelon has committed to refueling FitzPatrick in January 2017 and does not anticipate any immediate change to staffing levels at the plant, which normally employs about 600 people. Acquiring FitzPatrick aligns with Exelon’s broader efforts to preserve the nation’s existing nuclear energy facilities and the economic, environmental and reliability benefits they provide. New York’s nuclear plants power millions of homes and businesses.

Replacing economically challenged nuclear units with carbon-based generation would significantly increase emissions in the state, making it far more difficult and expensive for customers and the state to meet their emissions reduction goals. The transaction also aligns with Entergy's strategy of reducing its merchant power market footprint.

The 838-megawatt James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant generates carbon-free electricity for more than 800,000 homes and businesses. Exelon operates two other nuclear energy facilities in upstate New York: R.E. Ginna and Nine Mile Point, the latter of which is adjacent to FitzPatrick. Together, Exelon’s two upstate plants provide carbon-free electricity to more than 2.5 million homes and businesses while employing more than 1,500 full-time staff.  (Entergy Newsroom, 8/9/2016)

Monday, August 1, 2016


State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor

First-ever State Mandate will More than Double Renewable Resources, Slash Carbon Emissions, Protect the Environment and Grow the Clean Energy Economy


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the New York State Public Service Commission's approval of New York’s Clean Energy Standard, the most comprehensive and ambitious clean energy mandate in the state's history, to fight climate change, reduce harmful air pollution, and ensure a diverse and reliable energy supply. The Clean Energy Standard will require 50 percent of New York's electricity to come from renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2030, with an aggressive phase in schedule over the next several years. In its initial phase, utilities and other energy suppliers will be required to procure and phase in new renewable power resources starting with 26.31 percent of the state's total electricity load in 2017 and grow to 30.54 percent of the statewide total in 2021. The Clean Energy Standard will cost less than $2 a month to the average residential customer’s bill.

The Clean Energy Standard will:

· Significantly reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and prevent backsliding on progress made to date by maintaining the operations of carbon-free nuclear power plants as the state transitions to a 50 percent renewable requirement; and,
· Strengthen New York’s electric fuel diversity for the reliability benefits it brings. The Clean Energy Standard also places New York as a leader of the global effort to combat climate change and the resulting extreme weather events.

By 2030, the 50 percent renewable mandate will be a critical component in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent (from 1990 levels) and by 80 percent by 2050.
The Clean Energy Standard will be enforced by requiring utilities and other energy suppliers to obtain a targeted number of Renewable Energy Credits each year. These credits will be paid to renewable developers to help finance new renewable energy sources that will be added to the electric grid.
The Clean Energy Standard decision today also includes other directives to reach the 50 by 2030 mandate:

· The Public Service Commission will work with New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and stakeholders to develop the content and standards that could be used to create a New York-certified clean electric product. This product will be clearly labeled and identified as New York-based clean power giving consumers the ability to buy 100 percent clean power, should they want that option.
· The Public Service Commission will promote and support maximum expansion of energy efficiency wherever possible and evaluate the creation of renewable heating and cooling technologies such as geothermal heat pumps.
· The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will develop a blueprint to advance offshore wind energy, a report already in progress by the Authority.
· Public Service Commission Staff will work with the NYISO and other stakeholders to ensure that necessary investments are made in storage, transmission and other technologies to secure a reliable electric system.
· The Public Service Commission will requires triennial reviews of the Clean Energy Standard by the Public Service Commission to ensure economic and clean energy goals are being achieved.
Click here to view statements from organizations which are applauding and endorsing New York State's adoption of the Clean Energy Standard.

Maintaining zero-emission nuclear power is a critical element to achieving New York’s ambitious climate goals. Starting in April 2017, the Clean Energy Standard requires all six New York investor-owned utilities and other energy suppliers to pay for the intrinsic value of carbon-free emissions from nuclear power plants by purchasing Zero-Emission Credits. The New York Power Authority and the Long Island Power Authority are also expected to adopt the same requirements. This will allow financially-struggling upstate nuclear power plants to remain in operation during New York’s transition to 50 percent renewables by 2030.

A growing number of climate scientists have warned that if these nuclear plants were to abruptly close, carbon emissions in New York will increase by more than 31 million metric tons during the next two years, resulting in public health and other societal costs of at least $1.4 billion.