Exelon to retire two Illinois nuclear plants after funding request goes unanswered
The energy company, which lost lost US$800 million at the two facilities over the last seven years, wants public money to continue operating
CHICAGO—Exelon Corp. said June 2 that it will shut two Illinois nuclear power plants after the state Legislature declined to act on the company’s request for financial support.
The Clinton Power Station in Clinton will close June 1, 2017, and the Quad Cities Generating Station in Cordova will close June 1, 2018, the Chicago-based power provider said in a news release.
Exelon said it made the decision because the future is unclear for legislation that it backs that would extend state subsidies to nuclear power plants for producing reliable, carbon-free electricity that will help Illinois meet federal mandates.
Illinois lawmakers formally adjourned their spring session May 31.
“Unfortunately, legislation was not passed, and now we are forced to retire the plants,” Exelon President and CEO Chris Crane said in a statement. “We wish the outcome would have been different.”
Exelon said it would continue to work to pass the legislation, known as the Next Generation Energy Plan. The company said it would brief the Illinois governor’s office, state officials and community leaders. Exelon said it will work with municipalities to prepare for the impact of the closures.
The Clinton and Quad Cities locations are Exelon’s best-performing plants, but they’ve lost US$800 million over the last seven years, the company said. About 1,500 people work at the two plants.
Exelon said it has started taking necessary steps to shut the plants. Those include sending permanent shutdown notifications to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, stopping investment projects required to operate the plants long-term and cancelling fuel purchases and outage planning.