Exelon, Entergy Nuclear Reactors Win Subsidies From New York

Source: By Jim Polson, Bloomberg • Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Exelon Corp. and  Entergy Corp. have won subsidies totaling about $500 million a year for their money-losing nuclear reactors in New York, the first state to throw such a lifeline to an industry struggling with weak demand and low prices.

The state Public Service Commission voted for the funding on Monday as part of a broader plan to spur the development of clean energy. Exelon Corp. said following the decision that it would invest about $200 million in two nuclear plants next year and continue discussions to buy a third from Entergy that is slated to close.

“We’ll immediately invest hundreds of millions of dollars right back into the upstate economy, which will have a long-term positive impact across the state,” Exelon Chief Executive Officer Chris Crane said in a statement.

‘A Mistake’

New York’s nuclear subsidies remain controversial among environmental groups who say the aid would be better spent promoting solar and wind power.

“The nuclear subsidies are a mistake and a misuse of public money, ” Jessica Azulay, program director for the Alliance for a Green Economy based in Syracuse, New York, said Monday in a statement.

Exelon, the largest U.S. nuclear-power generator, rose 0.5 percent to close at $37.46 in New York. Entergy fell 0.2 percent to $81.27.

Entergy said last month that it was in talks to sell its James A. FitzPatrick plant in New York to Exelon by mid-August. Exelon already operates the R.E. Ginna and Nine Mile Point nuclear plants in the state.

“Adoption of the clean energy standard is a critical component of our discussions with Exelon on FitzPatrick,” Patricia Kakridas, an Entergy spokeswoman, said Monday by phone. Entergy is still reviewing the final order, she said.