Talen pleased with Susquehanna nuclear performance, asset deal

The Susquehanna nuclear power plant, which has been bedeviled by turbine blade problems in recent years, operated at a roughly 100% capacity factor in the past quarter, Talen Energy (NYSE:TLN) officials said Nov. 5.

Susquehanna Units 1 and 2 are both boiling water reactors (BWRs) commissioned in the1980s that are both listed with roughly 1,200 MW of operating capacity. After endured a high outage instance, shorter blades were installed on the nuclear units in the past couple of years to reduce blade tip vibration.

During the quarterly earnings call, Talen Energy President and CEO Paul Farr also said that the company is on pace to bring “dual fuel” capability online at the Brunner Island power plant online in 2016.

Talen is also interested in adding dual fuel capability at the Montour coal plant in Pennsylvania in 2018. Adding gas capability at Montour, however, is contingent upon development of certain natural gas pipelines near the coal plant in Montour County, Pa.

On another topic, Talen recently received Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval for the MACH Gen purchase, which added about 2,500 MW to the Talen portfolio.

Farr also noted that Talen is completing certain power generation divestitures that were required by regulators when Talen was formed.

 “We are on track to achieve $135 million in synergies this year, outperforming our previous 2015 target of $115 million,” he said. “We also completed the first significant acquisition in our growth strategy, adding 2,500 megawatts of high-quality natural gas assets from MACH Gen to our fleet at an attractive price, and we expect to realize excellent value upon closing of the announced divestitures of the Ironwood, Holtwood and Lake Wallenpaupack plants.”

Talen Energy was formed when the competitive power generation business of PPL (NYSE:PPL) was spun off and combined with the competitive generation business owned by private equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.