Utility giant Exelon is pressing for a state bailout for three financially strapped nuclear plants in Illinois, after a study by four state agencies found that closing them would have little impact on electricity supplies, Midwest Energy News reports.
“Several of Illinois’ nuclear facilities, including the Byron, Quad Cities, and Clinton stations, have been experiencing major annual losses in the past few years, and continuing to operate them at a loss would defy common business sense,” said Exelon spokesman Paul Elsberg.
“If we do not see a path to sustainable profitability emerge for them, we will consider all options, including unit shutdowns.”
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity found that closing the plants would cost $1.8 billion in economic activity, as well as 2,500 direct and 4,431 indirect jobs, Lydersen writes. But “this impact could be mitigated by investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency, including the creation of 9,600 new jobs, though the report noted elsewhere that wind energy jobs taper off quickly when construction is completed.”
The state found the closures would incur a $2.5- to $18.6-billion social cost of carbon between 2020 and 2029.