The Indian Point nuclear plant will shut down by April 2021 under an agreement New York State reached this week with Entergy, the utility company that owns the facility in Westchester County, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal.
Under the terms of the agreement, one of the two nuclear reactors at Indian Point will permanently cease operations by April 2020, while the other must be closed by April 2021. The shutdown has long been a priority for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who — though supportive of upstate nuclear plants — has repeatedly called for shutting down Indian Point, which he says poses too great a risk to New York City, less than 30 miles to the south.
“Why you would allow Indian Point to continue to operate defies common sense, planning and basic sanity,” Mr. Cuomo told reporters in June.
Despite the political opposition to Indian Point, which is perched on the edge of the Hudson River in Buchanan, N.Y., the plant is an important supplier of inexpensive power to the metropolitan area. It has the capacity to generate more than 2,000 megawatts, or about one-fourth of the power consumed in New York City and Westchester County. The prospects for replacing that power are so far unclear, but potential options include hydropower from Quebec and power from wind farms already operating across New York, according to the person.
Under the agreement with the state, Entergy has committed to applying for a six-year license renewal. The agreement may help clear the way for approval. The reactors’ licenses expired in 2013 and 2015.
The agreement would also require Entergy to establish a new emergency operations center in the Dutchess County town of Fishkill, as well as to create a $15 million fund to finance projects related to environmental protection and other community benefits. The company will be obligated to consult regularly with Riverkeeper and other local groups.
The agreement also provides for flexibility if the state cannot find a replacement for Indian Point’s energy: The deadlines in 2020 and 2021 can be pushed to 2024 and 2025 if both the state and Entergy agree.
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