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Report: Exelon wants $353 million annual subsidy for just two nuke plants

Friday, May 14, 2021

* Steve Daniels at Crain’s

CEO Chris Crane has said [the governor’s proposed $70 million a year subsidy for two of Exelon’s nuclear power plants is] not nearly enough. So how much is enough? The company continues to dodge that question. The only hint Crane has given came in a May 5 earnings call with analysts when he pointed to a recent decision in New Jersey to subsidize nukes there.

“If you take a look at what happened in New Jersey last week, the (state) concluded that the financial challenges faced by nuclear plants there justified a maximum (subsidy) of $10 per megawatt-hour,” Crane said.

Applying that level of support to Dresden and Byron would entail increases in electricity rates sufficient to generate $353 million in annual revenue based on the two plants’ 2019 production. That’s nearly five times what Pritzker is offering—an amount based on an independent audit the governor commissioned of Exelon’s nuclear plants—and well above the $235 million Rauner signed into law in 2016.

The 2016 subsidy adds about $2 a month on average to electric bills throughout the state. A $353 million subsidy would tack on nearly $3 more.

The demanded subsidy is about $120 million more than the 2016 bill signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner. But that $353 million figure may actually be low. Subscribers know more.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

14 Comments
  1. - Southern Skeptic - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:23 pm:

    The ground has shifted below Exelon’s feet. They are no longer in charge as the growing consensus between most lawmakers and the governor make clear. They’ll get something but it won’t be nearly enough. If they have a problem with that, they can take it up with the ICC.


  2. - Al - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:33 pm:

    This represents a quarter of dividend payments. This is how much they pay out in dividends quarterly.


  3. - DuPage Saint - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:54 pm:

    And I want to win the lottery. I sure hope Southern Skeptic is right.


  4. - Candy Dogood - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:55 pm:

    Sounds like Exelon is a very poorly run company if they’re still declaring a profit and paying shareholder dividends while claiming that they’re losing money on the nuclear fleet.

    It would be irresponsible for the people of Illinois to continue to subsidize this failed business that is relying on public funds to be able to maintain profits and pay shareholder dividends. They should receive nothing. Let them make their economic choices and stop letting them rent seek.

    They have done nothing but demonstrate that they are a criminal enterprise and that when their bribes fail to continue to sway votes they respond with empty threats.

    Make them make good on their threats. Either they shut everything down or the keep producing energy. Last time I checked they were sending a lot of that electricity out to other states meaning that Illinois rate payers are subsidizing electricity generated for customers in other states and then sold again at profit.

    They have demonstrated we should have no reason to trust them. They have demonstrated they have zero interest in what is best for the public. Tell them to pound sand and if they do shut down the reactors keep them on the hook for the total cost of decommissioning. Better to do it now and be first in line than to way until they structure a bankruptcy to avoid it.


  5. - TNT - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:57 pm:

    Crane says “take a look at what happened in New Jersey…”

    Okay. Their public utility commission approved a subsidy. Isn’t that what’s being proposed here? Prove in a case before the ICC that you need it.

    https://nj.gov/bpu/newsroom/2021/approved/20210427.html


  6. - Quibbler - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 3:02 pm:

    If there’s a need for the public to subsidize Exelon to this extent, then the public should own Exelon outright.


  7. - Frumpy White Guy - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 3:13 pm:

    Could we get back to discussing Alderperson David Moore’s bid for Secretary of State?


  8. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 3:16 pm:

    =CEO Chris Crane has said [the governor’s proposed $70 million a year subsidy for two of Exelon’s nuclear power plants is] not nearly enough+

    Just last year the subsidy would have been small change. Public Official “A” would have gone to bat for the small price of a dozen Com-Ed interns from the 13th ward.


  9. - Dysfunction Junction - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 3:24 pm:

    ==This represents a quarter of dividend payments.==

    See also, “Privatizing profits, socializing losses” https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/privatizing-profits-and-socializing-losses.asp


  10. - Commisar Gritty - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 3:47 pm:

    If we’re giving them that much money every year in subsidies, why don’t we just buy the damn plants? We probably could pay for it 3 times over in 10 years of this constant soaking of tax payers.


  11. - Jibba - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 3:49 pm:

    No. Read the room.


  12. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 4:25 pm:

    The state should just start building their own solar farms….


  13. - Al - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 4:26 pm:

    One wonders what the installation cost was originally for these very old paid off electric plants? My understanding is quarterly dividends of $0.385 per share is about $375 million are currently being paid.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 4:30 pm:

    Might as well ask, no for $1 or $353 million is still no…

    (Sigh)

    No words.


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