PPL approved to spin the Susquehanna nuclear plant into Talen Energy

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on April 10 approved PPL Susquehanna LLC‘s request for indirect transfer of control of the operating licenses for both units at the Susquehanna nuclear power plant related to the planned spinoff by parent PPL Corp. (NYSE: PPL) of various power plants to the newly-created Talen Energy.

Other Talen Energy power plant assets are currently owned by Riverstone Holdings LLC affiliate RJS Power Holdings LLC

The NRC determined that the transfer will not adversely affect the technical or financial qualifications to operate the plant, or the assurance of funding for eventual decommissioning of the plant, and will not result in foreign ownership or control of the plant.

When the spinoff occurs, the name of the company holding the plant licenses will change from PPL Susquehanna to Susquehanna Nuclear LLC, but the owner/operator arrangement will not change. Susquehanna Nuclear will operate the plant, which will continue to be jointly owned by Susquehanna Nuclear and Allegheny Electric Cooperative.

The Susquehanna plant is located in Luzerne County, Pa., about seven miles north of Berwick. The operating license was issued by the NRC in 1982 and renewed in in 2009, with a current expiration in 2042. It has two boiling water reactors. PPL owns 90% of the plant, which represents 2,245 MW (summer rating) of the plant’s 2,494 MW (summer) of total capacity.

Previously, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission approved filings related to the spinoff. The final regulatory action needed before the company can close the transaction is the completion of a review by the U.S. Department of Justice under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. PPL expects the transaction to close in the second quarter of 2015. Talen Energy will own and operate a diverse mix of approximately 14,000 MW (after divestitures to meet FERC market power standards) of capacity in certain U.S. competitive energy markets, primarily in the PJM Interconnection and Electric Reliability Council of Texas markets.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.