State Will Postpone Decision On Vermont Yankee Sale Until Federal Ruling

Jul 9, 2018

The Public Utility Commission will postpose its decision on a proposed deal to sell the shuttered Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon.

The PUC issued a ruling Friday on the pending deal between Entergy and NorthStar Group Services, saying the state would wait until the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission makes a ruling on the license transfer.

The proposed deal between Entergy and NorthStar needs state and federal approval, and the PUC held its evidentiary hearings in May.

But in the ruling that was issued last week, the PUC said that while the matters under consideration at the state and federal levels differ, "the NRC ruling on the license transfer may have relevance to some of the issues raised by this case."

The Vermont Attorney General's Office has stressed that the state has independent jurisdiction to move forward under Vermont law. But the office also points out that the NRC decision could conflict with the proposed agreement between the two parties, or even with the state decision, if it were made before the NRC rules.

"Entergy and NorthStar are targeting a transaction closing by Dec. 31, 2018, pending receipt of the required approvals from the PUC and the NRC." — Entergy VP Michael Twomey, in an email to VPR

In an email message to VPR, Entergy Vice President of External Affairs Michael Twomey said that while the two companies suggested that the state postpone its decision, they did not expect that decision to postpone the sale.

"Entergy and NorthStar are targeting a transaction closing by Dec. 31, 2018, pending receipt of the required approvals from the PUC and the NRC," Twomey wrote.

The two companies asked the PUC to issue its decision within 30 days of notification of the NRC ruling.

The PUC says that while it cannot commit to such a timetable, the state would ask all parties to file any new testimony related to the federal decision within 10 days of the final ruling.