Group hoping to keep Entergy FitzPatrick nuclear plant open

A coalition of Upstate New York elected officials, business leaders, economic development groups and organized labor, has called upon New York Gov. Andrew  Cuomo (D) to “do whatever it takes” to preserve upstate jobs by keeping the Entergy (NYSE:ETR) FitzPatrick nuclear plant open.

The new coalition was organized by the Oswego County Industrial Development Agency. The group presented a letter to Cuomo Jan. 7. Despite sympathy from Cuomo, the coalition faces an uphill fight.

Entergy announced in early November that it to retire its 838-MW FitzPatrick nuclear plant in Scriba, N.Y. FitzPatrick will close at the end of the current operating cycle in late 2016 or 2017.

The announcement came weeks after Entergy announced retirement no later than 2019 of the Pilgrim nuclear plant in Massachusetts. Entergy had already closed its 565-MW Vermont Yankee nuclear plant in late 2014.

Closure of FitzPatrick, would cause Upstate New York to lose 615 jobs at the plant, an additional 1,000 building tradesmen and skilled workers involved in refueling, maintenance and plant outages, the group said on its website.

“We want to acknowledge the fact that Governor Cuomo has started to take steps to address this crucial issue, but with the legislative session about to begin in Albany, we need immediate action on a number of issues that are vital to protecting energy jobs in Upstate New York,” the group said in a news release.

Upstate New York produces two-thirds of New York’s power supply, but only uses one-third of the state’s power,” according to the coalition.

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.