Exelon expects Illinois bill to support nuke plants in March
- Illinois legislators are preparing to introduce legislation supporting Exelon's nuclear generation in the state, and the company believes the measure will have broad bipartisan support, Midwest Energy news reports.
- Specifics of the bill are not known, but company officials say they expect it will move through the state's legislature quickly, likely next month.
- Exelon has six nuclear generators in Illinois, and has long argued for legislation to guarantee income from the plants so they stay profitable and operating.
Exelon may be closing in on legislative support for its Illinois nuclear fleet, officials said during the company's earnings call this week. Previously the company has said its facilities in Byron, Clinton and the Quad Cities are struggling to remain profitable.
Midwest Energy News reports that few details are public about the bill, but during the company's quarterly earnings call Exelon Chief Strategy Officer Bill Von Hoene said "there will be a significant number of sponsors and it will be bipartisan. ... We anticipate Republican and Democratic sponsors in significant numbers."
Illinois leads the nation in producing nuclear power, though the state has issued a report finding it could get by without the nuclear generation and that the closures could lead to a cleaner energy mix for the state. Nuclear is responsible for roughly half the power sold by utilities and alternative retail electric suppliers in the state. Coal makes up about 43%.
"It is not yet been determined what the mechanics will be, but there will be adequate support and sponsorship in both houses to run it through the legislature," Von Hoene told analysts.
Last week Exelon reported adjusted fourth quarter 2014 earnings of $18 million, down from the $495 million the company posted in the same quarter a year before. The company's ComEd and PECO utility subsidiaries both faced milder weather, which hurt earnings.
- Midwest Energy News Bill to support Illinois nuclear plants expected by March
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