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EDF details exit strategy from nuclear plant stake

French energy firm Electricite de France outlined an exit strategy Tuesday from its stake in three of Exelon's nuclear power plants, including Calvert Cliffs in Southern Maryland.

Both companies disclosed that EDF has an option to sell its 49.99 percent stake in Constellation Energy Nuclear Group to Exelon — which owns the rest — for fair market value between 2016 and 2022.

Constellation, bought by Exelon last year, also worked out a deal with EDF to transfer the power plants' licenses to its parent. As part the agreement, Exelon will lend Constellation the money to make a $400 million "special dividend" payment to EDF, and EDF will let Exelon manage the nuclear reactor operations.

The French company paid $4.5 billion for its stake in 2009 but has been frustrated by competitive difficulties facing the U.S. nuclear industry, including cheap natural gas.

EDF Chief Financial Officer Thomas Piquemal said Tuesday that the deal represents what he hopes is "the last chapter of our U.S. adventure with Constellation," Bloomberg reported.

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