US-based integrated energy company Entergy is negotiating with Exelon for the potential sale of the 838MW James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant located in Scriba, New York.

The sale is part of Entergy's plans to consider potential option which would allow FitzPatrick project to remain in operation.

Entergy said that if the discussions do not result in an ownership sale and transfer agreement with Exelon, it will close the FitzPatrick plant in late 2016 or early 2017 as previously planned followed by decommissioning.

Entergy wholesale commodities president Bill Mohl said: "In keeping with our corporate strategy to move away from merchant power markets and toward a company operating exclusively as a utility in regulated markets, we are working with Exelon to come to commercial terms on a sale transaction that depends largely on the final terms and timeliness of the New York State Clean Energy Standard.

"We thank New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his leadership in promoting the Clean Energy Standard, which provides incentives for financially strapped nuclear power plants."

The potential deal between Entergy and Exelon would be subject to completion of definitive commercial agreements as well as regulatory approvals.

Entergy's FitzPatrick top official site vice-president Brian Sullivan said: "Our focus remains on providing employees and the community the best opportunity we can to prepare for either a transition to a new owner or a shutdown and decommissioning.”

Entergy plans to complete negotiations with Exelon in mid-August.

Commissioned in 1975, the FitzPatrick nuclear power plant is designed to generate carbon-free electricity required to power more than 800,000 homes.