Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) Vice President of Policy Development and Planning Richard Myers applauded Exelon Corp.’s recent announcement to defer decisions on the future operations of the Byron and Quad Cities nuclear power plants for another year on Thursday.
"Although only a temporary reprieve, Exelon's decision is an enormous win for the state of Illinois,” Myers said. “The Quad Cities and Byron nuclear stations employ almost 1,800 people directly, and are responsible for an additional 7,500 indirect jobs in the state. The two facilities produce $3.1 billion a year in total economic value for the state, according to an economic analysis conducted by NEI. In addition to this immense economic value, these nuclear energy facilities are essential if Illinois hopes to reduce its carbon emissions. Quad Cities and Byron produce 34.6 billion kilowatt-hours of carbon-free electricity every year - more than three times the state's entire production from renewable energy.”
Thanks to the reprieve, Exelon will continue to operate the Byron plant to May 2019 and operate the Quad Cities power plant to May 2018.
"Nuclear power plants represent a unique value proposition, and competitive electricity markets must find a way to assign a value to these attributes or run the risk of losing them,” Myers said. “PJM's reform to its capacity market does just that - it recognizes the reliability value of these baseload, always-on resources. Exelon's decision to defer shutdown decisions for Quad Cities and Byron demonstrates clearly that market reforms like PJM's achieve the desired effect. It's now time for states, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and regional transmission organizations like PJM to take the next step and address the need for reforms in their energy markets."