Exelon Corporation will shut down the Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear plants June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018, respectively. The two plants have lost a combined $800 million in the past seven years, despite being two of Exelon’s best-performing facilities.
Exelon cited lack of progress on Illinois energy legislation as a major contributor to the decision. While the Illinois legislative session has not ended, the path forward for consideration of the Next Generation Energy Plan legislation is “not clear.”
“We have worked for several years to find a sustainable path forward in consultation with federal regulators, market operators, state policymakers, plant community leaders, labor and business leaders, as well as environmental groups and other stakeholders,” said Chris Crane, Exelon president and CEO. “Unfortunately, legislation was not passed, and now we are forced to retire the plants.”
As a result, the company has begun taking necessary steps to shut down the two nuclear plants. These include:
- Making permanent shutdown notifications to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission within 30 days
- Terminating capital investment projects required for long-term operation of Clinton and Quad Cities, affecting more than 200 workers
- Immediately taking one-time charges of $150 million to $200 million for 2016, and accelerating about $2 billion in depreciation and amortization
- Canceling fuel purchases and outage planning, which will affect more than 1,000 outage workers
The Clinton and Quad Cities plants support about 4,200 direct and indirect jobs and produce more than $1.2 billion in economic activity annually, according to Excelon, which employs nearly 700 workers.
A state report found closing the plants would increase wholesale energy costs for the region by $439 million to $645 million annually. The report also found that keeping the plants open would avoid $10 billion in economic damages associated with higher carbon emissions over 10 years.