Three Mile Island to close in 2019 without policy reform

David Weissman
  • Three Mile Island Generating Station will shut down on or about Sept. 30, 2019, according to Exelon.
  • The Londonberry Township station employs 675 workers.
  • Exelon may opt to keep plant open if Pennsylvania makes energy policy changes before 2019.

Exelon will prematurely retire Three Mile Island Generating Station in 2019 unless Pennsylvania reforms its energy policies, the company announced Tuesday.

The Londonberry Township station failed to clear its latest PJM capacity auction for the third year in a row, according to an Exelon news release.

The auction was to guarantee sale of the plant's energy supply in 2020 and 2021, and Exelon announced last week it would need to make a decision soon regarding the future of operating Three Mile Island due to continued low wholesale power prices.

Three Mile Island employs 675 workers and provides more than $1 million in state property taxes annually, according to the company. The retirement is expected to take place on or about Sept. 30, 2019.

Exelon pointed out that nuclear energy is not included in the state's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, which includes solar, wind and hydro energy sources.

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The company suggested amending the standard or establishing a zero emissions credit program to help preserve the state's nuclear plants.

Within 30 days, Exelon will inform stakeholders, including PJM and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, of its plans. Other steps to shut down the plant include terminating long-term capital investment projects and canceling 2019 fuel purchases and outage planning.

Three Mile Island is infamous because of a meltdown in 1979 that partially destroyed one of its two units.