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Exelon Reveals Illinois Investment Plans, New Company Details

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Exelon Generation has announced plans for more than USD300 million-worth of capital projects at its Byron and Dresden plants, and hiring 650 employees, following the state of Illinois’s passage of clean energy legislation. Separately, the company has today announced the senior leadership of the two businesses that will result from the separation of its regulated utility and competitive energy businesses. The regulated business is to be called Exelon and the competitive business Constellation.

Exelon in September formally reversed its decision to retire the Byron and Dresden nuclear plants after Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed into law the state’s new energy legislation package. Refuelling of Byron unit 1 has already begun, and the company now plans to invest more than USD140 million into the two-unit plant over the next five years on various projects: overhauling a main generator; replacing large transformers; upgrading a fibre optic control system; and replacing various pumps, motors and piping in the plant. Most of these projects will take place during refuelling outages starting next year, Exelon said.

Refuelling of Dresden unit 2 will take place during an outage in November. Nearly USD170 million in capital projects planned over the next five years for the Dresden plant include upgrades to six feedwater heat exchange vessels; significant refurbishment of a main generator; electrical component overhauls; replacement of closed cooling piping; and revamping nuclear instrumentation circuit components.

Exelon Generation Chief Nuclear Officer Dave Rhoades said the company is moving quickly to restaff and refuel all of its nuclear plants. “These plants are not only important for the clean energy they produce, but they are massive economic engines for their local communities, contributing more than USD1.6 billion to Illinois’ GDP each year,” he said.

The two plants are also soon to begin new training classes for the “next generation” of licensed operators, Exelon said.

New companies named

Exelon in February announced plans to separate its regulated utility and competitive energy businesses into two publicly traded companies, one comprising its electricity and gas utilities, which serve some 10 million customers in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; and the other made up of its generation assets, including over 18,700 MW of capacity from 21 reactors at facilities in Illinois, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania.

It has announced that current Exelon President and CEO Christopher Crane will continue as CEO of the regulated utility business, which will be called Exelon, and Joseph Dominguez, currently CEO of ComEd, has been named CEO of Exelon Generation and incoming CEO of the competitive energy business, which will be called Constellation.

Exelon’s current CFO Joseph Nigro will continue as CFO of Exelon, while Daniel Eggers, currently senior vice president of corporate finance for Exelon, has been named CFO of Exelon Generation and incoming CFO of Constellation. Calvin Butler, currently CEO of Exelon Utilities, will assume the role of interim CEO of ComEd, in addition to his current duties.

“Constellation will be the largest producer of clean energy in the nation by a wide margin, giving our expansive customer-facing platform a competitive edge as consumers and policymakers increasingly demand sustainable energy solutions,” Dominguez said.

The separation is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, pending completion of the remaining regulatory approvals.

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