Entergy is planning to shut down all its energy operations at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in the Village of Buchanan by April 30, 2021.
Responding to a recent call by state Senator Terrence Murphy (R/Yorktown) to delay the closing of the facility to 2030, Entergy officials appeared before the Cortlandt Community Unity Indian Point Task Force Thursday at Cortlandt Town Hall to stress the company’s timetable to close up shop.
“Indian Point will retire as scheduled,” said Mike Twomey, vice president of external affairs for Entergy. “We intend to shut down as scheduled in the agreement. That is the plan everyone should expect to be implemented.”
In January 2017, Entergy, which purchased the plants more than 15 years ago, announced, to the complete surprise of local leaders, its plan for the early and orderly shutdown of Indian Point Energy Center as part of a settlement with New York State and Riverkeeper. In exchange, New York State agreed to drop its legal challenges and support renewal of the operating licenses for the facility.
Units 2 and 3 at Indian Point generate approximately 2,000 megawatts of electricity for homes, business and public facilities in New York City and Westchester County. This represents approximately 25 percent of the electric power used in the region. Unit 2 is set to shut down by April 30, 2020 and Unit 3 will follow suit a year later.
An emergency provision is included in the shutdown agreement that could give Entergy an additional four years of service in the event of war, a sudden increase in electrical demand or a sudden shortage of electric energy. However, Twomey maintained those circumstances were highly unlikely to occur.
Instead, Twomey said the “biggest uncertainty” was the cost estimate for the decommissioning of the plants, which is expected to take between 10 to 15 years once its begins. Approximately $1.7 billion is currently in a decommissioning trust fund controlled by Entergy.
The length of the decommissioning could tie up for years any potential property on the 240-acre site for possible redevelopment that local officials have been exploring to replenish the $32 million annual revenue Entergy provides to Cortlandt, Buchanan, Westchester County and the Hendrick Hudson School District.
Twomey said a good portion of the land could be utilized during the decommissioning process to store material, equipment and vehicles.
“We do not know what we will be using the parcels of the site for,” he said. “Until we have a plan, we don’t know.”
Regardless, Buchanan Mayor Theresa Knickerbocker, Hendrick Hudson Superintendent of Schools Joseph Hochreiter and Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi asked Entergy to consider setting aside some land for redevelopment.
“I think I have a pretty clear understanding of what we’re looking at,” said Knickerbocker, whose municipality will be losing half its operating budget once Entergy departs. “I understand we won’t be using the property in the very near future.”