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EYE ON NY

Entergy: NY's rescue plan won't change decision to close FitzPatrick nuclear plant

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FitzPatrick nuclear plant

James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba. 

The state Public Service Commission has a plan to keep the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant open, but Entergy says it won't affect its decision to close the facility. 

According to PSC Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman, the commission's proposal would provide financial support to FitzPatrick in Scriba, Oswego County, and other nuclear power plants in upstate New York. 

With the aid, the PSC said FitzPatrick would be in good financial standing and ready for refueling as early as June. 

"Until then, we invite Entergy to work with us to make the plans necessary to refuel FitzPatrick and to support the statewide objectives of New York's new Clean Energy Standard," Zibelman said. 

Entergy announced in November its intent to close FitzPatrick, which has more than 600 employees and has been open since 1975. 

State officials engaged in negotiations with Entergy in an attempt to keep the plant open. But those talks were unsuccessful. 

Last week, Entergy revealed that it will shut down FitzPatrick on Jan. 27, 2017

While the PSC is confident its plan will allow operations at FitzPatrick to continue, Entergy said it hasn't received a "definitive proposal" from the state. 

Mike Twomey, vice president of external affairs for Entergy Wholesale Commodities, added that it's too late to save the nuclear power plant. 

"Entergy met with New York state officials from the governor's office and with the PSC repeatedly over the last few years to discuss how the current New York market structure disadvantages nuclear generation, how nuclear power's carbon-free attributes could be recognized in the market and the financial challenges faced by the FitzPatrick plant," he said.

"Unfortunately, these discussions resulted in no meaningful progress or policy changes by New York state." 

As for the negotiations that occurred in 2015, Twomey said the discussions focused on the company's facilities in New York — FitzPatrick in Oswego County and Indian Point, which is north of New York City. 

Both sides met for months to negotiate a settlement, Twomey recalled. He blamed the state for being "unwilling to agree on a path that was mutually acceptable to both parties."

"At this point, we are moving forward with the safe and orderly shutdown of the FitzPatrick plant," he said. 

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