Entergy Looking to Sell Indian Point by End of 2019
John Jordan | February 2019
BUCHANAN—Until recently, the major energy issue facing Westchester County and the Hudson Valley/New York City region was the impending closure of the nuclear reactors at Indian Point in the next two years. However, that was before Con Edison announced its plan to impose a moratorium on new natural gas connections for most of the county next month.
Last week, however, new details on the Indian Point shutdown came to light when Entergy Corp. Chairman and CEO Leo Denault in a conference call said that the company is in talks to sell the Indian Point Energy Center here by the end of this year.
The New Orleans-based energy company, which shocked many business and political leaders in early 2017 when it announced the closures of the Indian Point II and III nuclear reactors in 2020 and 2021 during a contentious and prolonged relicensing process, will likely sell Indian Point to a decommissioning firm.
Denault stated on the company’s earnings conference call “We are now actively working toward a post shutdown sale of Indian Point.”
He added that while the company is working on the sale of Indian Point now, the sale of the complex on the shores of the Hudson River would not close until after the plant closures in 2021. The deal furthers Entergy’s ongoing strategy to “transition to a pure-play utility,” Denault said. The company has stated that it is in the process of exiting the merchant nuclear power business.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said in a prepared statement, “As anticipated, Entergy announced that it will be selling Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant sometime in 2019 with the deal anticipated to close in 2021. The new entity will be charged with decommissioning the plant, similar to what Entergy did with the Vermont Yankee Plant.”
In January 2019, Entergy Corp. completed the sale of Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee to subsidiaries of NorthStar Group Services of New York City, which will decommission the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station site. Entergy and NorthStar announced the sale agreement in November 2016.
Westchester County Executive Latimer said he is concerned that the sale of the Indian Point Energy Center could impact labor currently working at the complex and wants to make sure that the cleanup at the property be undertaken with the highest environmental standards.
“The decommissioning process is a delicate one. I urge Entergy to require that the new decommissioning company brought in be required to keep the current labor at the plant and keep them at the pay level they currently are,” Latimer stated. “Additionally, I am asking that the environment not come second to speed and cost. We must remember that Indian Point is on the banks of our cherished Hudson River, and in the heart of our treasured county. We must protect these riches at all costs.”
Also, on the energy front in Westchester County, utility Con Edison is set to impose a moratorium on new natural gas connections beginning on March 15 for most of Westchester County. The New York State Public Service Commission held hearings earlier this month in White Plains on the issue and is scheduled to release a report on July 1.