Title: Exelon on wind: Exelon CEO says too much wind could lead to nuclear plant shutdowns
Source: Chicago Tribune
Author: Julie Wernau
Date: February 8, 2013
Chief Executive Christopher Crane said Thursday that the rapid pace of subsidized wind-generated electric power could ultimately force it to shutter nuclear plants.
“What worries me is if we continue to build an excessive amount of wind and subsidize wind, the unintended consequence could be that it leads to shutting down plants,” Crane said in an interview. [...]
Crane has said the tax credit keeps turbines spinning even when there is no demand for power, driving down the price Exelon receives for power from its nuclear plants.
In wind-rich areas like Illinois, that means there are instances when Exelon pays customers to take their power rather than the other way around. The phenomenon is referred to as negative electricity pricing. For instance, the company’s Byron nuclear plant in Illinois, Crane said, is in a negative pricing scenario 16 percent of the time. [...]
“Exelon made a bet on the electricity spot market just like California did 10 years ago. When prices went down, they lost their bet and they’re looking for a scapegoat. The good news is the same low prices that hurt Exelon benefit homes and businesses. Negative prices are a red herring. Exelon does not want low prices or any resources like wind that bring prices down.” -Rob Gramlich, the American Wind Energy Association’s interim chief executive
Published: February 8th, 2013 at 8:50 pm ET