- Exelon is not going to shutter any of its nuclear facilities any time soon, despite some financial issues, according to the utility's chief strategy officer Bill Van Hoene.
- Low wholesale electricity prices, stagnant electricity demand, and the rise of solar and wind have displaced Exelon's nuclear generation in the markets, making them uneconomical to keep running and putting them at risk for closure.
- The utility is looking ahead to the EPA's new CO2 emissions regulations as nuclear power could help states find a solution to keeping the lights on while cutting emissions at the same time.
Of Exelon's 23 nuclear units, its five units in Illinois are of particular concern. Wind is beating nuclear on price in the state. Exelon has indicated it wants regulatory help to secure the future of its facilities, something the utility says will be beneficial for the state and customers when various greenhouse gas regulations take hold over the next few years.
"If you took our nuclear plants out and replaced them with gas, which is the fuel of choice these days, it would be the equivalent of putting 16 million additional automobiles on the road," Von Hoene said. "So, there is an environmental piece for nuclear, and there's also a reliability piece."
Exelon's acquisition of Pepco Holdings, which will expand its regulated utility portfolio, will provide revenue to stabilize Exelon's wholesale business.