Pennsylvania Legislature Introduces Bill to Aid Nuclear Power Plants
March 12, 2019
On Monday, March 11, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Pennsylvania introduced H.B. 11, legislation that would include nuclear energy in the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS).
The bill would add nuclear power to an existing list of 16 clean energy sources that already receive financial compensation through the AEPS in order to promote energy technologies that provide an environmental benefit to Pennsylvanians.
Currently, the benefits of zero-emission nuclear energy are not recognized under the AEPS, despite nuclear providing 93 percent of the Commonwealth’s carbon-free energy.
“Passage of this bill, entitled the Keep Powering Pennsylvania Act, will acknowledge that nuclear energy is the only baseload power source that operates 24/7, 365 days a year, and the only baseload power source with zero carbon emissions,” said Rep. Tom Mehaffie. “A single nuclear reactor generates more power than all the wind and solar combined in Pennsylvania. For the state legislature to ignore the challenges facing these plants would be one of the most irresponsible decisions the Pennsylvania legislature has made in a generation.”
FENOC has announced plans to decommission the Beaver Valley plant ahead of schedule in 2021. Exelon is planning to shutter its Three Mile Island plant near Harrisburg this fall. The early closures are part of a broader trend across the U.S. as the industry has struggled amid cheaper natural gas and slowing demand for electricity.