Three Mile Island’s future in jeopardy after failing to sell power

05.25.17 | Bob Price

Exelon Corporation says the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant is at risk of early retirement because it again failed to sell its electricity at a key power auction.

TMI did not clear in the latest PJM Interconnection capacity auction for the 2020-2021 planning year, Exelon announced Wednesday.

PJM is the organization that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in 13 states – including Pennsylvania – and the District of Columbia. Its annual capacity auctions are held to ensure enough power resources are available to meet demand.

TMI has been not cleared the past three PJM base residual auctions.

“There has been no decision to retire the plant early at this time,” TMI spokesman Dave Marcheskie said.”There has been no retirement date. Exelon is committed to generating clean, safe energy through mid-2019.”

Exelon said TMI remains economically challenged because of continued low wholesale power prices and the “lack of federal or Pennsylvania energy policies that value zero-emissions nuclear energy.”

The company said it has been working with stakeholders on options for the continued operation of TMI, which has not been profitable in five years.

“They’re looking at a long-term solution and if they don’t see a long-term profitability, they could close the plant down,” Marcheskie said.

Exelon’s Quad Cities nuclear power plant in Illinois also did not clear the capacity auction. The Oyster Creek plant in New Jersey did not participate in the auction because it’s scheduled to retire in 2019.