After $3B Deal, Irving-Based Vistra Receives NRC Approval To Own and Operate 3 Additional Nuclear Plants

In a $3 billion merger announced in March, Vistra—which owns the Comanche Peak nuclear plant in Glen Rose—acquired three nuclear power plants and retail businesses from Ohio-based Energy Harbor. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval puts Vistra one step closer to creating a clean-energy powerhouse.

Irving-based Vistra and Ohio-based Energy Harbor have received approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to transfer the operating licenses of Energy Harbor’s three nuclear power plants to Vistra.

In March, we told you about Vistra’s acquisition of Energy Harbor in a $3 billion merger deal. Vistra aimed to accelerate the growth of its zero-carbon generation portfolio through the purchase, including Energy Harbor’s 4,000-megawatt nuclear generation fleet and its retail business of 1 million customers.

As a result of the deal, Vistra is combining Energy Harbor’s nuclear and retail with Vistra’s own nuclear and retail businesses and Vistra Zero renewables and storage projects. They will all operate through Vistra Vision—a newly formed subsidiary holding company.

The three acquired nuclear plants are:

:: The Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station, located 34 miles from Pittsburgh near the western border of Pennyslvania. Its two units “generate enough electricity to power more than 1 million homes daily,” according to Energy Harbor.

:: The Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, located in Oak Harbor, Ohio. The state’s first nuclear power plant, it’s located on Lake Erie in Perry, Ohio. The single pressurized water reactor plant generated its first megawatt of electricity in 1977, according to Energy Harbor, and today supplies 40% of the electricity used by residences, businesses, and industries in northwestern Ohio.

:: Perry Nuclear Power Plant, a boiling water reactor located 35 miles east of Cleveland in North Perry, Ohio. One of the largest reactors of its type in the U.S., it generates enough electricity to power more than 1 million homes daily, Energy Harbor says. It became the nation’s 100th nuclear power plant when it went online in 1987.

Jim Burke, Vistra president and CEO, said the NRC’s approval of the transfer is “an important step in the acquisition process and is evidence of Vistra’s strong technical and financial qualifications, as we have demonstrated over the past 30-plus years with our Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant.”

Comanche Peak is located in Glen Rose, Texas, about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to invest in nuclear power, which plays a critical and unique role in our nation’s responsible energy transition as a baseload, carbon-free source of power,” Burke added in a statement.

Vistra said the NRC’s “thorough and timely review” of the license transfer application brings the $3 billion deal closer to completion. But before the deal can be finalized, Vistra awaits a decision from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on its request for approval of the transaction.

Vistra said it “continues to target closing the transaction before the end of the year.”

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