The James A. Fitzpatrick nuclear power plant in Oswego County, upstate New York, was set to close prematurely, 20 years ahead of schedule, because of a warped market structure that does not value clean reliable nuclear energy like it does short term-term low natural gas prices and subsidized renewables. Fortunately, though the Clean Energy Standard adopted last week by the New York Public Service Commission offered a way out by carbon-free nuclear power, which allowed Exelon Generation to assume ownership and operations of the plant.
Exelon and Entergy reached an agreement worth $110 million following the state’s adoption of a Clean Energy Standard that supports nuclear energy as well as renewable energy.
If approved by state and federal regulatory agencies, Entergy will transfer Fitzpatrick’s operating license in mid-2017 to Exelon, which operates two other New York nuclear plants, Nine Mile Point and Ginna, along with 21 other reactors from Illinois to New Jersey. This transfer will save 7 billion kWhs of carbon-free electricity a year, $500 million for the regional economy, 600 high-paying direct jobs and over 1,500 indirect jobs.