Entergy to close James A. FitzPatrick nuclear plant in Scriba

By Editor


Entergy Corporation announced it will close the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba, NY, due to deteriorating economics of the facility.

The 838 megawatts plant will be closed in late 2016 or early 2017.

The key drivers cited by the company include significantly reduced plant revenues due to low natural gas prices, a poor market design that fails to properly compensate nuclear generators like FitzPatrick for their benefits, as well as high operational costs.

Entergy and New York State officials tried to reach a constructive and mutually beneficial agreement to avoid a shutdown, but were unsuccessful.


Sustained low current and long-term wholesale energy prices, driven by record low gas prices due to the plant’s proximity to the Marcellus shale formation, have reduced the plant’s revenues.

Current and forecast power prices have fallen by about $10 per megawatt-hour, which equates to a projected annual loss of more than $60 million in revenues for FitzPatrick, the company said.

Flawed market design fails to recognize or adequately compensate nuclear generators for their benefits. FitzPatrick and other nuclear power generators provide a key fuel diversity benefit with significant climate-related advantages.

In addition to generating virtually carbon-free electricity, nuclear plants offer onsite fuel storage, maintain grid reliability and serve as a significant source of large-scale 24/7 energy generation.

The plant carries a high cost structure because it is a single unit. Entergy has already invested hundreds of millions of dollars to improve FitzPatrick’s reliability, safety and security. While the company will always make investments needed to assure safe operations, it considers the long-term financial viability of operating plants in markets that ignore the benefits of nuclear power.

The locational constraints reduce the plant’s revenues. The region has excess power supply and low demand.

FitzPatrick employs more than 600 workers, and has been a part of the Oswego County community since it began generating electricity in 1975.

When FitzPatrick closes, Entergy will have one power generating facility in operation in New York State, the Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, NY.

Rajani Baburajan

[email protected]

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