The owner of the Quad Cities Generating Station has notified power grid operator PJM Interconnection of its plans to retire the nuclear power plant on June 1, 2018.
Exelon Corp., the largest U.S. nuclear power plant operator, announced last month that it will shut reactors at the Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear stations in Illinois, given a lack of progress on state energy legislation that would have allowed the plants to operate economically. The stations have lost a combined $800 million in the past seven years, despite being two of Exelon’s best-performing plants.
Exelon notified the Nuclear Regulatury Commission last month of its plans to shutter both plants. The PJM Interconnection notice is the latest of several procedural notifications that Exelon is required to make.
Exelon, in a news release, said employees will operate the Quad Cities nuclear plant until the retirement date. Staff transitions are expected within six months after the plant shuts down.
Exelon employs nearly 900 workers at the Quad Cities facility and 700 workers at the Clinton plant. The generating stations support approximately 4,200 direct and indirect jobs and produce more than $1.2 billion in economic activity annually.
Exelon was hoping the Illinois Legislature would adopt legislation, known as the Next Generation Energy Plan, that would compensate nuclear reactors for the reliability, environmental and economic benefits they provide such as round-the-clock power with no carbon emissions, and jobs and taxes for the local communities.
Nuclear operators have shut five reactors since 2013 and have threatened to close several more. That’s primarily because U.S. power prices have collapsed to decade lows due to low natural gas prices.