Nuclear powers Exelon's emissions certificates

11 March 2009

An earlier version of this story stated that Exelon Energy's emissions certificates were based on its low-carbon generation portfolio, which is 93% nuclear. In fact, the certificates will be 100% backed by nuclear power unless the customer requests otherwise. WNN thanks Paul Elsberg for pointing this out.

 

Oyster Creek (Exelon)

Oyster Creek (Image: Exelon)

 

Exelon is to introduce an emissions-free energy product, with all of the power coming from nuclear plants.

 

In a pilot scheme, a selection of the Exelon Energy's business customers will be able to purchase Emissions-Free Energy Certificates for the power they use. "Our customers have overwhelmingly expressed a need for low-carbon products," said Kenneth Cornew, president of Exelon's energy retailing business and senior vice president with the overall corporation.

 

The certificates will be tracked by PJM Environmental Monitoring Services' Generation Attributes Tracking System. This will allow Exelon customers to compare the effects their choice of low-carbon energy is having on the environment compared to using the normal mix of grid generation. Exelon said an Illinois customer holding certificates to cover the electricity used at a 500 kWe facility for one year "could claim carbon dioxide avoidance equivalent to 359 acres of trees or 289 passenger vehicles removed from the road for a year."

 

Exelon said that the power to support the certificates will come from nuclear power plants - of which Exelon has ten in Illinois, Pennsylvania and New Jersey - unless customers request otherwise. The company's 17 reactors produce a total of about 24,730 MWe, while other contributors to Exelon's low-carbon pool are hydro at 1620 MWe and wind power at up to 150 MWe. Exelon also operates 6500 MWe of coal, oil and gas power plants, which are excluded from the certificate scheme.

 

If the pilot trial is a success, the certificates will be widely offered later this year.

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