Despite years of unfavorable conditions, Exelon believes that next year may be better.
Earlier this year, the company announced it will not be closing the Clinton Nuclear Power Plant – located 45 miles east of Springfield – for at least another year in light of potential Illinois market reforms. The announcement follows similar announcements for two of Exelon’s other Illinois nuclear plants. Meanwhile anti-nuclear groups are calling for the plants to begin shutting down now.
The landscape of the energy market is undergoing major changes as coal plants begin to close, thanks in large part to tightening environmental regulations and a glut of cheap natural gas. Because coal has long been one of the main fuels for electricity production in the U.S., its decline creates a vacuum for other sources of electricity to fill. While environmental groups prefer more solar, wind and hydro electricity, companies which operate nuclear power plants see an opportunity for a larger role.
In Illinois, however, nuclear power has faced a competitive disadvantage since the late 1990s due to the state’s “deregulated” energy market. Illinois law requires a separation between companies that generate electricity and those which transmit electricity to customers. (Springfield’s City Water, Light and Power is allowed to own both generation and transmission assets because it’s a municipal utility.)
For more on the story, please see the original article on Illinois Times.