Time 'of the essence' as plant closure dates approach

06 August 2021

Federal-level legislation will come too late to save the Byron and Dresden power plants from early retirement this autumn, Exelon CEO Chris Crane has said. The company is still hopeful that aid at the state level will save the plants. A group of Illinois legislators has called for the state's General Assembly to reconvene as soon as possible to vote on the provisions.

Illinois legislators including Sue Rezin, pictured, have called for the General Assembly to reconvene (Image: @SenatorRezin)

While giving details of Exelon's financial results for the second quarter of this year, Crane clarified the status of the two twin-unit power plants, which have been slated for shutdown since 2020.

Crane said he is "encouraged" to see growing support at the federal level for policies that would value the clean energy from the nuclear fleet, but the passage of such legislation "remains uncertain and, regardless, will come too late to save our Byron and Dresden plants from early retirement this fall."

"While we remain hopeful that a state solution will pass in time to save the plants, clean energy legislation in Illinois remains caught in negotiations over unrelated policy matters, leaving us no choice but to continue down the path of closing the plants," said Crane.

The package of clean energy legislation stalled in the Illinois legislature due to contentions over measures unrelated to the preservation of the nuclear plants. A group of Illinois legislators including Deputy Senate Republican Leader Sue Rezin earlier this month issued a joint statement calling for Illinois leaders to reconvene the state's General Assembly "at the earliest possible date" to pass the legislation to keep the nuclear plants online and extend Illinois' renewable portfolio standard.

"Too much is at stake to wait for the demands of every individual interest group to be satisfied in a comprehensive energy package. We must act now to pass the provisions there is broad agreement on, which include preserving Illinois' nuclear fleet and extending the state's renewable portfolio standard with incentives for critical solar and wind initiatives," the statement said, adding: "Time is of the essence. We cannot wait until later this autumn to protect energy jobs, protect our environment, and prevent dramatic rate hikes on utility customers."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News