• Deal for money-losing plant is valued at $110 million
  • Buyer plans to keep nuclear plant staff of about 600

Exelon Corp. agreed to buy Entergy Corp.’s James A. FitzPatrick nuclear plant in New York after the state approved customer-funded subsidies for the industry earlier this month.

Under an agreement totaling $110 million, Entergy will transfer FitzPatrick’s operating license to Exelon, according to a statement on Tuesday. Exelon will refuel the reactor, which Entergy had planned to shut it because it was losing money, in January. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017.

The state Public Service Commission on Aug. 1, approved subsidies totaling about $500 million a year for 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 financial aid, which will be recovered from ratepayers, is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s goal of getting half the state’s power from renewable sources by 2030.

"The pending sale of FitzPatrick is in the best interests of all of our stakeholders: employees, owners, customers and communities, including New Yorkers who will benefit from the plant’s continued clean, safe and reliable energy production,” Entergy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Leo Denault said in the statement.

Entergy said in July it was in talks to sell FitzPatrick to Exelon by mid-August. Exelon, which already operates the R.E. Ginna and Nine Mile Point nuclear plants in the state, said earlier Tuesday those plants will operate at least through March 31, 2029.

Exelon plans to spend as much as $500 million on refueling and other operations at the upstate plants in early 2017. The Chicago-based company doesn’t anticipate any immediate change to staff levels at FitzPatrick, which numbers about 600, according to the statement.

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