Register with us today

and in less than 60 seconds continue your access to:Latest news headlinesAnalytical topics and featuresCommodities videos, podcast & blogsSample market prices & dataSpecial reportsSubscriber notes & daily commodity email alerts

Already have an account?

Log in to register

Forgot Password

Please Note: Platts Market Center subscribers can only reset passwords via the Platts Market Center

Enter your Email ID below and we will send you an email with your password.

  • Email Address* Please enter email address.

If you are a premium subscriber, we are unable to send you your password for security reasons. Please contact the Client Services team.

If you are a Platts Market Center subscriber, to reset your password go to the Platts Market Center to reset your password.

In this list
Electric Power

Exelon's Clinton nuclear plant clears MISO auction, but future remains in doubt

Electricity | Energy | Electric Power | Coronavirus

US power sector known for reliability, contingency planning faces challenges from coronavirus

Electric Power

Platts Market Data – Electric Power

Capital Markets | Commodities | Electric Power | Natural Gas

Mexican Energy Conference, 24th

Coal | Emissions | Electric Power | Nuclear | Renewables

Stakeholders debate N.J. participation in PJM capacity market

Exelon's Clinton nuclear plant clears MISO auction, but future remains in doubt

Louisville, Kentucky — Exelon's 1,065 MW Clinton nuclear plant in Illinois will keep operating through May 31, 2017, after clearing a Midcontinent Independent System Operator auction last week, but without an "urgent' policy fix, its days may be numbered, according to the Chicago-based company.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

Some analysts have predicted Exelon will announce plans later this year to close Clinton, the company's only power plant in MISO, and the grid operator's latest auction did little to change their views.

In all, Exelon owns six nuclear plants in Illinois totaling more than 11,000 MW of generation.

Exelon, the nation's largest nuclear generator, has claimed for more than a year that Clinton is losing money in the persistently low US power price environment. The company continues to push for legislation in Illinois to reward low-carbon generators. Currently, nuclear power is excluded under the state's renewable energy law.

Article Continues below...

Despite the MISO auction, "without urgent action on the policy front, we will have no choice but to prepare for a potential early retirement in the face of continued financial losses at our Clinton nuclear plant," Exelon President and CEO Chris Crane said in a statement.

Clinton's absence from the state's generation landscape "would have significant economic impacts on southern Illinois and erase the environmental benefits equal to 80% of the wind installed in Illinois, making it significantly harder and more expensive for the state to meet its carbon-reduction goals," Crane asserted.

For months, Exelon has been working with Illinois lawmakers and other stakeholders to design s comprehensive energy bill it says would promote clean energy and advance development of the next-generation power grid.

A bill proposing the creation of a low-carbon portfolio standard was introduced in the 2015 General Assembly, but failed to pass before lawmakers adjourned in November. Successor legislation has not yet been filed in the 2016 Legislature in Springfield, where a high-stakes fracus over the state budget has dominated discussion.

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democrats, led by House of Representatives Speaker Michael Madigan, are at loggerheads over efforts to fill a more-than-$5-billion hole in the new budget. As a result, Exelon spokesman Paul Adams said Tuesday that the legislature has been slow to coalesce support around the new energy bill.

"It obviously has been difficult to move anything" because of the bitter budget disagreements, he said, adding it is understandable the budget is getting so much attention from state leaders.

Paul Patterson, a Glenrock Associates analyst in New York, said in a Tuesday email he suspects that if Exelon does not "get what it feels is enough" in support for its nuclear plants from the legislature, "it might shut down a plant like Clinton."

Earlier this year, UBS analyst Julien Dumoulin-Smith in New York predicted Exelon would announce plans in September to shut Clinton. The MISO auction and Illinois legislative impasse have not altered his opinion.

The Clinton closing announcement probably will come in "late summer rather than fall," with September still a good possibility, Dumoulin-Smith said in a Tuesday email.

Exelon has pointed to an analysis the state conducted a year or so ago that found closing Clinton would cause wholesale energy prices to rise $236 million to $341 million a year for families and businesses in the region.

Those increases "do not include hundreds of millions of dollars that wold need to be spent on new transmission lines," the company noted. Clinton's shutdown also would result in the loss of nearly 1,900 direct and indirect jobs and raise carbon emissions in Illinois by almost 8 million mt/year, the company said.

Exelon is the parent company of Commonwealth Edison, Peco Energy, Baltimore Gas & Electric and Pepco.

--Bob Matyi,
--Edited by Valarie Jackson,