- Exelon officials this week outlined a growth strategy that will focus on investing $25 billion in its regulated utilities, with emphasis on critical infrastructure and smart grid technology.
- Officials said revenue from Exelon Generation’s power plants, almost 33,000 MW of capacity, will help fund investment at the utilities and reduce debt.
- While the company will continue to pursue market and policy changes to aid its nuclear fleet, Exelon CEO and President Chris Crane said it would shutter facilities which were not profitable.
Following its acquisition of Pepco, Exelon is now the largest utility holding company in the United States and owns a half dozen electric and gas companies.
The company this week gave analysts some insight into its plans for continued growth, while making it clear there are limits on how long it will operate struggling nuclear plants.
“For the good of our employees, our customers, our communities and the climate, we will keep working for solutions in all of our states to preserve zero-carbon nuclear generation and promote the advancement of clean energy,” Crane said in a statement. “But where we can’t see a path to sustained profitability, we have no choice but to shut down plants.”
The nuclear industry has struggled to compete with cheap natural gas, and several plants have closed or are at risk. But states need the carbon-free generation to meet environmental goals, leading some to pursue additional supports for the plants. In New York, the state recently approved a Clean Energy Standard that mandates a 50% renewable standard by 2030, and also guaranteed income for three struggling upstate nuclear power plants.
Exelon will now own all of those plants, following a deal to acquire the James A. FitzPatrick plant from Entergy that hinged on the state approving the supports.
In Illinois, however, the state was not successful in saving plants. In June, Exelon announced it would close down the Clinton and Quad City plants after the state failed to pass legislation to subsidize them.
Exelon, in its analyst day statement, said it would use revenue from Exelon Generation’s power plants to help fund investment at the utilities and reduce debt.
Exelon serves 10 million electric and gas customers, and said its investments in critical infrastructure, smart grid technology and other reliability and customer service improvements would be spaced out over a period of five years.
"These investments will drive utility earnings growth, representing a growing majority of Exelon’s earnings through the remainder of the decade," the company explained.
“We see incredible opportunity in the years ahead as Exelon leads the transformation of our industry,” Crane said. “We serve more utility customers and produce more clean energy than any other company nationwide, which gives us a unique platform from which to grow our business and invest in needed infrastructure and innovations to benefit our customers and communities.”
SNL Energy reports the company anticipates its investments will lead to growth of 7% to 9% in earnings per share, between now and 2020.