KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. (Sept. 7, 2016) — Exelon’s fleet of 13 nuclear power plants ran at an average 96.9 percent capacity factor through June, July and August, despite hotter than average summer temperatures and more than 30 hot weather alerts from regional grid operators. Capacity factors are used throughout the nuclear industry to track operational performance and reliability.
According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, June and July 2016 recorded the warmest average temperatures since 2012 for Illinois and Pennsylvania, and since 2013 for New Jersey, New York and Maryland – the five states where Exelon owns and operates nuclear plants.
“Nuclear facilities are by far the most reliable source of energy during extreme weather conditions,” said Bryan Hanson, president and chief nuclear officer of Exelon’s nuclear fleet. “Nuclear is also the cleanest source of baseload power during weather events, providing about 63 percent of the nation’s carbon-free electricity.”
When temperatures rise, regional grid operators issue hot weather alerts, which signal generation facilities to avoid or reschedule maintenance and testing activities that could cause a loss of generation to the grid. This summer, all 13 Exelon nuclear facilities ran at their maximum allowable power levels during those hot weather alerts, providing 24/7carbon-free baseload power to offset higher demand.