Exelon Generation, owner of the nation’s largest nuclear energy fleet, assumed ownership and management of operations of the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba, New York.
“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,” said Chris Crane, president and CEO of Exelon. “We applaud (Gov. Andrew) 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.”
With the transaction completed, Exelon Generation named a new site vice president, Joseph Pacher, who was formerly site vice president at R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant. The former site vice president of FitzPatrick, Brian Sullivan, was retained by Entergy as part of the original transaction agreement.
“Joe knows the Exelon Management Model well and led Ginna during its transition into the Exelon Generation fleet in 2014,” said Bryan Hanson, chief nuclear officer, Exelon Generation. “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.”
Entergy and Exelon announced the transaction on Aug. 9, 2016, after the Clean Energy Standard was adopted in New York. The CES is credited with saving the $3 billion that nuclear plants contribute annually to the state’s economy and 25,000 direct and indirect jobs, while spurring hundreds of millions of dollars in investments in energy infrastructure. Without the CES, the FitzPatrick facility was slated for closure and other upstate nuclear plants would also have been at risk of closure.
Under the agreement totaling $110 million, Entergy transferred FitzPatrick’s operating license to Exelon Generation, along with the plant’s decommissioning trust fund and liability. Exelon does not anticipate any immediate change to staffing levels at the plant, which normally employs about 600 people.
The transaction received regulatory review and approval by state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the New York State Public Service Commission.
Acquiring FitzPatrick aligns with Exelon’s broader efforts to preserve the nation’s existing nuclear energy facilities and the environmental, economic and reliability benefits they provide. New York’s nuclear plants reliably provide nearly two-thirds of the state’s carbon-free electricity around the clock. Replacing economically challenged nuclear units would require more fossil fuel generation, which would increase carbon emissions in the state, making it far more difficult and expensive for customers and the state to meet their emissions reduction goals.
The 838 MW James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant generates carbon-free electricity for more than 800,000 homes and businesses.
Exelon Generation 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 three upstate plants provide carbon-free electricity to more than 3 million homes and businesses while employing more than 2,100 full-time workers.