News Local/State

Exelon Nuclear Plants in Illinois Clear Latest Regional Grid Auction


Exelon says its Illinois nuclear plants will be earning additional revenue next year, after clearing a special power plant capacity auction held last week for a 13-state region by the regional power grid PJM.

Crain’s Chicago Business reports the earnings should top $270 million.

Exelon’s Clinton nuclear plant is linked to MISO, another regional power grid, and was not included in the auction. But Exelon says all of its other Illinois nuclear plants would get additional revenue in the auction --- including two that are losing money, Byron and Quad Cities.

Exelon says those plants could close unless Illinois lawmakers approve rate support legislation to help them. Exelon says new revenue from the capacity auctions would not be enough to keep the plants open.

However, Exelon sees the added revenue from the capacity auctions as a promising sign. “We continue to be encouraged by these auction results, which along with EPA’s Clean Power plan, begin to properly value nuclear power for their reliability and low-carbon benefits,”, said Exelon president and CEO Chris Crane in a company news release. Crane said Exelon would consider these factors in analyzing the economics for each of their plants.

Exelon would not say how its plants outside Illinois did in the latest auction for competitive reasons. The company noted in a news release that a transition auction for 2017-18 would be taking place this week.

The transition auctions follow a full capacity auction held by PJM in August for 2018-19. Exelon’s Quad Cities plant failed to clear in that auction.