* 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.