Entergy to Close FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in New York
Entergy Corp. will close the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in New York in late 2016 or early 2017, the latest casualty of the shale gas boom that’s squeezing profit margins for generators.
That closing follows the shutdown of the New Orleans-based company’s Vermont Yankee reactor in December. The generator said last month that its Pilgrim nuclear plant south of Boston will close no later than June 1, 2019.
The latest decision is based on the continued deteriorating economics of FitzPatrick, Entergy said Monday in a statement. It cited reduced plant revenue due to low natural gas prices as well as high operational costs.
“Given the financial challenges our merchant power plants face from sustained wholesale power price declines and other unfavorable market conditions, we have been assessing each asset,” Chief Executive Officer Leo Denault said in the statement. “Market conditions require us to also close the FitzPatrick nuclear plant.”
Efforts over the past two months to reach a deal with New York State officials to avoid a shutdown were unsuccessful, Entergy said. FitzPatrick employs more than 600 workers, and began generating electricity in 1975.
“New York will pursue every legal and regulatory avenue in an attempt to stop Entergy’s actions and its callous disregard for their skilled and loyal workforce,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said today in an e-mailed statement.