January 6, 2017 / 10:38 PM / in a year

Entergy to shut N.Y.'s Indian Point nuclear plant by 2021: NY Times

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Indian Point nuclear plant will shut down by April 2021 under an agreement New York State reached this week with Entergy Corp, The New York Times reported on Friday, citing a person with direct knowledge of the deal.

Reuters has not independently verified the information, and a spokesman for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo denied that an agreement had been reached.

“Governor Cuomo has been working on a possible agreement for 15 years and until it’s done, it’s not done. Close only counts for horseshoes, not for nuclear plants,” said Richard Azzopardi, Cuomo’s spokesman.

The Times reported that one of the two nuclear reactors at Indian Point will close by April 2020, while the other would be shuttered by April 2021, the Times said.

A shutdown of Indian Point has been a priority for Governor Cuomo, due to its proximity to New York City, less than 30 miles (48 km) to the south.

Entergy would not comment. It has been trying to renew the licenses for the two Indian Point reactors since 2007. Those licenses expired in 2013 and 2015, but the units can continue operating so long as the federal license renewal process is ongoing.

The New Orleans-based company has been pulling back from its unregulated businesses, especially its non-utility nuclear unit, over the past few years as it focuses on regulated utilities in the South. Indian Point was the only non-regulated nuclear plant it had sought to keep.

Indian Point produces about 2,069 megawatts of electricity, enough to meet about 25 percent of the power used by New York City and Westchester County.

Michael Clendenin, spokesman for New York power company Consolidated Edison Inc, said the company has not been told about any agreement to close the plant, though it is part of the state’s contingency planning in case it does close.

The Times reported Entergy and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office have signed off on the deal, citing the source. The paper said Cuomo will wait until Monday to sign off on it, the day he gives his state-of-the-state address.

Schneiderman, in a statement, did not confirm an agreement, instead noting that his office has been trying to shut the plant for years.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino, Hilary Russ and Karen Freifield in New York; editing by Sandra Maler and Marguerita Choy

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