Exelon Corp. has announced that it will close the Three Mile Island nuclear plant at the end of September 2019 if Pennsylvania lawmakers do not provide financial subsidies for the 852 MW generator. The move comes a week after Three Mile Island and another Exelon nuclear plant failed to offer power at competitive prices in the more recent capacity market auction for the 2020-2021 delivery year in the PJM region, which provides transmission in the eastern United States. Electricity at the auction cleared at about $76.50 per megawatt for most of the grid, but that was not high enough for Exelon’s nuclear plants to break even since they have higher fixed costs than modern natural gas plants. In its closure announcement, Exelon pushed Pennsylvania lawmakers to integrate nuclear energy into the state’s renewable portfolio standard. The company used a similar strategy of threatening plant shutdowns to win approval for subsidies in those states.
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