Gas, Reactors, Wind

Exelon nuclear power plants passed over for power contracts

Three nuclear power plants owned by Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC) did not sign power contracts during a recent auction, putting some of their futures into jeopardy.

The Byron and Quad Cities plants in Illinois and the Oyster Creek plant in New Jersey were all priced out of the auction by competing power providers, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Oyster Creek plant is already scheduled to close in 2019, and the Clinton plant in Illinois could be next on the chopping block due to low natural gas prices and subsidies given to renewable energy sources.

Exelon said in February that it could potentially close its nuclear plants if they are not profitable. The utility relies on the revenues from the annual capacity auctions to help run the nuclear plants. Exelon said that the lower power prices were offset by higher capacity prices and higher revenues from its three utilities: Baltimore Gas & Electric, PECO and Commonwealth Edison Co.

Exelon’s CEO and President Christopher Crane said earlier this month that he is “encouraged” by market dynamics for the struggling nuclear plants and that he thought they had improved over a few months prior.

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