Exelon is threatening to shutter three nuclear plants in northern Illinois, which together power the equivalent of 5.5 million homes in the region.
The Chicago-based parent of Commonwealth Edison and the largest nuclear power generator in the country issued the warning about the potential for “early retirement” of its Byron, Dresden and Braidwood nuclear stations in a Feb. 8 Securities & Exchange Commission filing. While Exelon has hinted in the past that Byron and Dresden are financially at risk for closure, it was the first time the company explicitly identified Braidwood as vulnerable. […]
“Dresden, Byron, and Braidwood nuclear plants in Illinois are … showing increased signs of economic distress, which could lead to an early retirement, in a market that does not currently compensate them for their unique contribution to grid resiliency and their ability to produce large amounts of energy without carbon and air pollution,” Exelon said in the filing. […]
In a statement to Crain’s, Exelon said, “We are working with Illinois policymakers and other stakeholders on solutions to not only maintain Illinois’ clean energy progress but to further advance efforts to reduce and eliminate carbon emissions in the electric power and other sectors.” […]
Nuke closures could threaten Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s goal of eventually powering Illinois only through sources that don’t emit carbon. Exelon has been successful arguing that carbon-free nukes are a crucial component of state plans to address climate change by “de-carbonizing.”
* Press release…
State Senator Sue Rezin, R-Morris, and State Representative David Allen Welter, R-Morris, have sent a letter to Exelon Corporation requesting a meeting to discuss the company’s statement in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission that they may close their generating stations at Dresden and Braidwood. In the letter, Rezin and Welter emphasize the importance of protecting local jobs and the region’s energy infrastructure.
“The news of a potential shutdown of two of our nuclear power plants is extremely concerning to me and no doubt to the individuals and families who would be directly impacted,” said Sen. Rezin. “Not only do these facilities stimulate Illinois’ labor income and employment, but they also provide huge amounts to the local property tax base, supporting our school districts, higher education and local government. It is my hope that Exelon answers our call for a meeting so that we can begin the process of establishing a path forward.”
“Just over two years ago, the state approved a multi-billion dollar package for Exelon to keep their nuclear power plants in the Quad Cities and Clinton open,” Representative Welter said. “The potential closure of Dresden and Braidwood jeopardizes thousands of jobs critical to families. Our local nuclear plants are an integral component of Illinois’ energy infrastructure. I am deeply concerned by Exelon’s statement and will fight to protect the future of workers at the Dresden and Braidwood stations.”