Chicago-based Exelon (NYSE: EXC) announced on Thursday that it will close two nuclear power plants in Illinois after being snubbed by state legislature over a bailout request and realizing $800 million in losses over the last seven years.
Despite the $800 million loss, the two nuclear power plants—one in Clinton, Illinois and the other just two hours away in Cordova, Illinois—are said by Exelon to be two of the best-performing plants, employing 1,500 workers between them.
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The Clinton plant is scheduled to close on June 1, 2017, and the Quad Cities Generation Station will close June 1 of the following year.
The announcement came after the Illinois General Assembly failed to act on the Next Generation Energy Plan—a plan that would have been a lifeline to the troubled power plants by doubling energy efficient programs and providing $1 billion in funding for low-income assistance, and more, according to today’s Exelon press release.
"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."
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Combined, the two plants employ 4,200 direct and indirect jobs, and produce more than $1.2 billion in economic activity annually. According to an Illinois state report, closing the plants would increase wholesale energy costs for the region by $439 million to $645 million annually. Keeping the plants open, on the other hand, would avoid $10 billion in economic damages associated with higher carbon emissions over the next ten years.
Exelon operates 12 other nuclear power plants across six states, taking in $34.5 billion in revenue last year. As of 2:00 pm EST, Exelon was trading up $0.23 to $34.65 despite the news.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.