News Local/State

Money-Losing Quad Cities Nuclear Plant Fails To Clear Grid Capacity Auction


Results are in from the annual power plant capacity auction held Friday, August 21st, by the regional power grid PJM.  And Exelon’s Quad Cities nuclear power plant near Cordova in Illinois did not make the grade in the auction for the 2018-19 planning year.

Quad Cities is one of three Illinois nuclear plants that Exelon says is losing money. And it will lose out on extra revenue that other plants receive for guaranteeing a minimum generating capacity at all times.

Despite the setback for the Quad Cities plant, Exelon spokesman Steve Elsberg says that recent reforms to the capacity auction ---  plus the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s new Clean Energy rules ---- contribute to a brighter picture for the company’s other nuclear power plants.

“It signals that we’re beginning to see some recognition in the market through these reforms for the high reliability and the zero-emission nature of the energy produced by nuclear power plants,” said Elsberg.

Exelon’s Byron nuclear plant in Ogle County, which is also losing money, did better in the PJM capacity auction, and will receive additional revenue. A third money-losing plant --- the Clinton nuclear plant --- is linked to the MISO (my-so) regional power grid –-- and is already set to receive money from an earlier capacity auction.

Outside of Illinois, Exelon’s Oyster Creek and Three Mile Island nuclear power plants also failed to clear in the PJM capacity auction.

Exelon has said it might close its three money-losing Illinois nuclear plants, without rate support legislation to help them. That proposal has made little headway in Springfield.