In a call with analysts Thursday, Exelon suggested that the state of Illinois might compensate the company for the climate benefits and other advantages offered by three nuclear plants at risk of closure.Earlier this year, the company suggested the Clinton, Quad Cities and Byron plants are no longer competitive within Illinois' electricity market, where natural gas generation is cheap and periods of excess wind generation can drive down spot prices. In the earnings call, company officials said they would make a decision on closing the plants in June, rather than before the end of the year as previously planned, the Chicago Tribune reported.Lawmakers in Illinois are drafting bills to implement recent carbon reduction rules from the EPA that favor nuclear power. Exelon has been lobbying since the beginning of the year for policies supportive of the nuclear plants for their benefits that are not necessarily reflected in power prices. Executives said Thursday the state has commissioned studies to help quantify the economic value of the plants, and that the General Assembly might act to help preserve the carbon-free power generation the reactors provide.
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