8/24/15 - Exelon Just Won $653 Million Through PJM Capacity Auction – Why Does It Continue To Seek An Illinois Bailout?

On Friday, August 21, Exelon’s Illinois nuclear fleet won $653 million per year for the June 2018-May-2019 period from the capacity auction held by regional grid operator PJM. These results are more than $400 million higher than the previous year’s auction.  Additional highlights:

Byron cleared and must run through May, 2019 - While Exelon’s Quad Cities plant did not clear the auction, the Byron Generating Station did.  As a consequence, Byron is now obligated to run until May 31, 2019.  According to a Crain’s analysis, the Byron nuclear power station, which Exelon characterized as troubled and in danger of closing just weeks ago, now “…stands to reap profits of around $26 million even if future energy prices remain this low.”

Additional auction revenues coming - In addition to the auction just announced, PJM will announce the results of two additional auctions in the next two weeks which are expected to generate hundreds of millions in additional revenue beginning June 2016. 

The BEST coalition of business, consumer and government groups believes that continued legislative action to support Exelon is unnecessary and unwise given the auction results.

The company has previously warned it needs financial help to continue operating its Illinois nuclear plants and has pressed the Illinois General Assembly to pass bailout legislation that would funnel roughly $300 million from Illinois ratepayers to Exelon each year.

“The market-based solution Exelon asked for just arrived,” said Dave Lundy, Director of the BEST Coalition. “Exelon came to Springfield seeking $300 million per year to prop up its Illinois nuclear fleet.  The Illinois General Assembly wisely waited to see how Exelon did in the auction and they were right.  The company just received more than double its original legislative request from the capacity markets.” 

“Enough is enough.  As social service providers are being decimated across the state and legislators are being forced to make increasingly painful choices, it’s time for Exelon to stop asking policy makers for even more from struggling ratepayers.” Lundy concluded.