Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wow, Natural Gas Kills Nukes -- July 30, 2015, Part III

In addition to the war on coal, there is also the war on nukes. And in both cases, natural gas seems to be winning. Crain's is reporting:
Looks like Exelon's Quad Cities nuclear plant is a goner come September.
Chris Crane, CEO of the Chicago-based utility giant, which also is the largest nuclear plant operator in the country, made clear on a conference call with analysts today that he doesn't see a way to keep money-losing Quad Cities open in the absence of a state law to charge ratepayers throughout Illinois more to bolster revenues at Exelon's nukes. Exelon says that three of its six Illinois plants are losing money as wholesale power prices remain historically low due in large part to the low cost of natural gas.
Exelon has established September as the time it must decide the future of Quad Cities, and an anticipated revenue windfall for Exelon's nukes courtesy of a regional power-plant auction set for next month almost certainly won't be enough, Crane said.
That auction, conducted by regional grid operator PJM Interconnection to set the price of “capacity” paid by all utility customers to qualifying power plants, is expected to materially hike electricity rates beginning in June 2018, as well as revenues for big power generators like Exelon.
PJM has changed the rules of the auction to virtually ensure that companies will get paid more and energy prices for customers will rise. Exelon's Illinois nukes are in line to see hundreds of millions in additional revenue beginning in mid-2018 from the changes.
There are so many story lines in that article. Much, much more at the link. Times are a'changing. 

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