Entergy plans to keep Palisades nuclear plant operating through 2022
COVERT, MI — Entergy Corporation plans to continue operating Palisades nuclear plant through the spring of 2022, the company said in a news release.
Entergy announced its plans today, Thursday, Sept,. 28, to keep the plant operating under the existing Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Consumers Energy.
“In light of the Michigan Public Service Commission’s order issued September 22, which granted Consumers Energy recovery of only $136.6 million of the $172 million it requested for the buyout of the PPA, the parties have agreed to terminate the buyout transaction,” said Charlie Arnone, site vice president and Entergy’s top official at Palisades.
Entergy’s announcement reverses the company’s December 2016 decision to close Palisades on October 1, 2018. The company said in a news release that it remains committed to its strategy of exiting the merchant nuclear power business.
“We greatly appreciate the continued patience of our employees and the local community in Southwest Michigan throughout this regulatory process, and we will continue to focus on the plant’s safe and reliable operations,” Arnone said. “Entergy will continue to make all necessary investments and maintain appropriate staffing, in accordance with strict licensing standards.”
The impact of the decision on free cash flow is expected to be positive $100 million to $150 million compared to the PPA amendment with Consumers Energy, according to the news release.
“In addition, due to the change in operating assumptions, under applicable accounting rules we no longer expect fuel, refueling outage costs and capital expenditures to be expensed as incurred. Instead, these expenditures will be amortized or depreciated over their useful lives and the expense will be included in operational results,” the company said.
Consumers Energy issued a statement on Palisades and the company’s Power Purchase Agreement with Entergy:
“After careful review, Consumers Energy and Entergy have mutually agreed that moving ahead under the terms of our current Palisades’ Power Purchase Agreement through 2022 is the best path forward. We appreciate the thoughtful, deliberate approach by all parties during the process, and remain committed to delivering affordable, reliable, safe and clean energy to our customers across Michigan.”
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, released a statement about Palisades remaining operational until 2022: