Future Pilgrim plant owner is finally named
More than five months after the owner of the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth revealed plans to spin off the plant and five other reactors into a new company, Entergy Corp. finally has come up with a name for that company.
New Orleans-based Entergy said the new publicly traded company that will own the six reactors will be called Enexus Energy Corp. and will be headquartered in Jackson, Miss. – the location of the current home base for Entergy’s nuclear operations.
Entergy is also creating a new joint venture to operate the plants. That venture, which will be jointly owned by Entergy and Enexus, will be called EquaGen LLC.
Entergy is looking to separate the six reactors from its other plants that are linked to its vast utility operations in the South. The company, which aims to complete the spin-off by the end of September, hired RiechesBaird Co., a branding company in California, to help come up with the new names. Previously, Entergy had simply been referring to the spin-off as either “SpinCo” or “NewCo.”
The Enexus name represents a combination of the words “energy” and “nexus,” while EquaGen is derived from the words “equity” and “generation.”
The employees at the Pilgrim plant were unimpressed with the new names, according to Dave Leonardi, a senior operations instructor at the plant.
“They thought it took a very long time to not come up with a very creative name,” said Leonardi, who is also a vice president with the Utility Workers Union of America Local 369.
Members of the union have raised concerns that the spin-off could saddle Pilgrim and its sister plants with too much debt.
“We don’t care what they call it,” said Gary Sullivan, president of Local 369 in Braintree. “Our concern is they potentially could leave the community and the public in the lurch if this company is not funded properly.”
Besides the Pilgrim plant, the other reactors that Enexus will own include ones at the Vermont Yankee plant in Vernon, Vt., the FitzPatrick plant near Oswego, N.Y., and the Palisades plant in Covert, Mich., as well as two reactors at the Indian Point plant in Buchanan, N.Y. Entergy will keep five reactors that are directly connected with its own power lines.
Richard Smith, the president of Entergy, will become the CEO of Enexus. Michael Kansler, Entergy’s chief nuclear officer, will keep his current job while also becoming CEO of EquaGen after the spin-off takes place.
An Entergy spokesman said the employees at the six reactors will be employed by a subsidiary of EquaGen. He said the staffing levels at the plants are not expected to change: After the spin-off, EquaGen will employ 4,100, including about 3,450 at the plant sites. The spin-off still needs to be approved by state and federal regulators.
Jon Chesto may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.