|Map of PJM Interconnect|
The latest piece of news on that topic came out late last month when PJM revealed the results of its 2014 Capacity Market Auction - one where three of Exelon's nuclear plants failed to "clear" the bidding.
To help provide some clarity on exactly what's going on, we sat down for a Q&A with Joseph Dominguez, a senior vice president at Exelon to ask some questions about what it means for those three plants and the future of the electric grid.
Dominguez: These auction results reveal that the market does not sufficiently recognize the significant value that nuclear plants provide in terms of reliability and environmental benefits. As proven during the record-cold temperatures this winter, nuclear plants are an incredibly reliable generation source, typically producing power 24/7 regardless of weather. And they do so without producing emissions, which makes them an indispensable resource if we are to meet greenhouse gas reduction requirements outlined in the draft regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Yet some of our nuclear plants face a perfect storm of economic challenges that threaten their continued operation. These include an influx of low-cost natural gas, slow load growth, and the unintended consequences of market structure and government policies that subsidize renewables and fail to recognize nuclear’s unique value as a clean, reliable workhorse of the electric grid.
You can read the whole interview over at NEI's website, "Exelon on the 2014 PJM Capacity Market Auction."