BYRON - Exelon Generation completed its separation into two companies Wednesday, putting its nuclear fleet, including the Byron Nuclear Plant, under newly formed Constellation.
Constellation now operates the carbon-free energy production side of Exelon as a standalone, publicly traded company, and Exelon serves as the transmission and distribution utility.
“The future health and prosperity of our nation is inextricably linked to our success in eliminating carbon pollution, and our entire focus will be on helping our customers and communities achieve that goal,” Constellation CEO Joseph Dominguez said in a news release.
“Our clean generation fleet and leading customer-facing platform are the foundation on which we will sustain and grow our business. Today begins an exciting transition for our company and employees as we affirm our mission to accelerate the transition to a carbon-free future and advance economic progress and equity in the communities we serve.”
Its generation fleet of nuclear, hydro, wind and solar facilities powers more than 20 million homes and businesses and provides more than 32,400 megawatts of capacity and annual output that is nearly 90% carbon-free.
The company’s climate goals are to achieve 95% carbon-free electricity by 2030, 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040 and 100% reduction of operations-driven emissions by 2040.
Goals also are to secure 80-year extensions for its nuclear plants, “subject to market and policy support,” Chief Generation Officer Bryan Hanson said.
The timeline of expected license extension projects start this year with the Clinton and Nine Mile Point plants, followed next year by Dresden and Ginna, with Fitzpatrick and Calvert Cliffs in 2026, Quad Cities in 2027, La Salle and Limerick in 2030 and Byron, Braidwood and another license in Clinton in 2034.
In August 2020, Exelon announced its plans to close both the Byron and Dresden plants in September 2021, citing revenue shortfalls of hundreds of millions of dollars because of declining energy prices and market rules that allow fossil fuel plants to underbid clean resources.
The General Assembly passed legislation last year paying a $694 million bailout for Exelon to keep the plants open.
The Byron plant has 717 regular employees, providing $97.5 million in payroll, and Dresden has 804 employees and provides $104 million in local payroll.
“In addition to our leadership in clean energy, Constellation will remain a strong supporter of its communities through workforce development programs, philanthropy, volunteerism and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, while maintaining the highest standards of corporate governance,” according to the release.
In connection with the separation, Exelon shareholders received one share of Constellation common stock for every three shares of Exelon common stock held at the close of business on Jan. 20, the record date for the distribution.
Headquartered in Baltimore, Constellation will be a Fortune 200 company and operates in 48 states, Canada and the U.K., employing around 13,000 people.
Constellation is the nation’s largest producer of carbon-free energy to millions of residential, public sector and business customers, including three-fourths of Fortune 100 companies.