energy future

Mar 7, 2019 | Energy Future | 68 comments

Nuclear subsidy proposal in PA: Why we’re speaking out

At PPL Electric Utilities, we’ve been watching with great interest the debate surrounding the future of nuclear power.

Proposed legislation currently circulating within the Pennsylvania General Assembly would require electric utilities to purchase as much as 50 percent of customer demand from nuclear energy as part of a new mandate under Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act.

We’re asking the General Assembly to seriously consider the broad impact and the unintended ramifications this aggressive proposal would have on all of our 1.4 million customers.

The conversation surrounding how to achieve long-term market-based solutions to reducing carbon is essential to Pennsylvania’s energy future. Our parent company, Pennsylvania-based PPL Corporation, supports efforts to advance a cleaner energy future and has committed reducing its carbon emissions 70 percent from 2010 levels by 2050.  Additionally, PPL Electric Utilities has begun to undertake several projects that promote greater incorporation and growth of carbon-free energy sources, such as solar, onto our grid.

No one disputes that nuclear energy is carbon-free, but don’t confuse narrow nuclear subsidy proposals with efficient and effective economy-wide, market-based efforts to move the state toward a low carbon future.

This proposal, if adopted, will make Pennsylvania less competitive, impacting every electric customer in Pennsylvania and raising the average price of electricity in the state for years to come. We have estimated that our customers, alone, will pay $140 million more each year to rescue a single energy source that already benefits from an existing robust market.

If electricity customers are asked to bear this burden, customers should expect, and legislators should require that regulators have oversight. As a regulated utility, PPL Electric Utilities is required to open its books to the state’s Public Utility Commission and demonstrate a financial need before we can adjust the rates we charge to customers. Nuclear plant owners who are asking our state government to give them customer-funded financial assistance should be required to do the same. Recent draft proposals do not include this much needed requirement and also provide a subsidy for plants that are profitable.

This issue has been the focus of limited discussions for well over two years. It is only recently that proponents have turned up the heat on the General Assembly to act swiftly. Lawmakers should not fall for the “crisis” label that has been intentionally created by the bill proponents.

We’re asking lawmakers to take their time and properly vet this issue through the process — hold hearings, call in all stakeholders and most importantly, demand numbers from those advocating for this measure. Consider seeking independent audits or financial verification from outside resources available to the General Assembly.

In the end, lawmakers need to strongly consider whether hiding a nuclear bailout in customers’ electricity bills is necessary and the best course to moving Pennsylvania forward.

 

68 Comments

  1. Chris Michaels

    Nuclear is not asking for a bailout, just a level playing field. Ever since the 1996 Competition Act in Pennsylvania, the PJM has influenced not only the markets but the types of generation available to customers, regardless of whether it was zero emission. Interestingly, while nuclear is the largest producer of clean zero emission electricity in PA, it does not qualify as a “renewable energy resource,” which means nuclear generation facilities are categorically ineligible to produce and sell renewable energy credits, or ZEC. Now that PPL Electric Utilities has divested themselves of all generation, they can get on their high horse and announce that they’re looking out for the customer. I’m guessing “clean reliable electricity” is no longer part of your slogan. Consider the article from the Institute for Energy Research (excerpt) “Vermont Yankee, a 604-megawatt nuclear plant, provided New England with 42 years of reliable, carbon dioxide-free power before its closure at the end of 2014. The plant’s capacity factor exceeded 80 percent over its lifetime—more than double the capacity factor of the most efficient solar or wind plant in the United States, which were expected by some to replace it. But, in reality wind and solar power cannot replace the generation from Vermont Yankee, because a nuclear plant can operate 24/7 and is not dependent on the wind blowing or the sun shining. As a result, natural gas generation increased in New England by 5.5 percentage points (from 43.1 percent of generation in 2014 to 48.6 percent of generation in 2015)[ii], and with it, carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions increased in New England by about 7 percent in 2015, increasing from 28 million tons to 30 million tons, according to data from EPA.” In other words, the closure of Vermont Yankee has already wiped out all the gains to clean air over the past 5 years, largely due to replacement of generation with natural gas. Funny how global warming and clean air is only an issue when its convenient.

    Reply
    • Eric Fedder

      Why is the logic you present never on display in masinstream media reporting…nuclear plantss did not overnight become unprofitable…over years the advantages given “renewables”over conventional power generation has now tilted the playing field. Also a great point how PPL got out of the generation business to insulate itself from the regulations it is now a champion of…they would sing a different tune if their bottom line was being affected.

      Reply
  2. Charlene E. Thomas

    I believe PPL should support safe nuclear energy. Solar and wind are not a viable source of clean energy; produce so little. WHAT I REALLY THINK IS: Why has PPL not endeavored to put all electric lines underground? Instead, PPL customers pay huge maintenance costs and destroy carbon reducing trees. Where is your common sense?? Also, I believe PPL should “tap” the huge foundation funds and for once relieve your customers from historically never ending cost increases. Honestly, I, for one, can say I have harbored resentment over some of your volunteer “do good” projects. Without your customers you are ZERO; it is time to give back to them!!!!

    Really, I would appreciate a your response. I want to understand. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Joe

      Thanks for visiting the blog and for your comments and questions.

      Converting existing overhead power lines to underground lines is a complex issue. Aside from the extremely high cost, there are other potential barriers including physical constraints of existing buildings and other infrastructure, the presence of other underground utilities like gas and water, and more.

      In addition, undergrounding existing power lines also means undergrounding all other lines currently attached to the above-ground electric utility poles, like telecommunications lines. This adds to the cost.
      PPL Electric Utilities’ grid contains both transmission (high-voltage) and distribution (lower voltage) lines. Each has different engineering, space and electrical requirements.

      National data has shown underground power line construction can be up to 10 times more expensive than overhead, above-ground construction. In terms of reliability, placing lines underground is not a panacea. While undergrounding lines may eliminate some outages causes like trees or wind, they still face maintenance issues, such as susceptibility to flooding. Outages on underground lines can take longer to locate and longer to repair than outages on overhead lines.

      PPL Electric Utilities had the most reliable year in its history in 2017 and ranked in the top 10 percent nationwide for low outage frequency in a noted industry survey. We continue to invest in the grid, in smart grid technology and more, to make the grid even more reliable and resilient.

      Reply
      • Larry Robertson

        Joe, I think that your response to Charlene’s statement “WHAT I REALLY THINK IS: Why has PPL not endeavored to put all electric lines underground? Instead, PPL customers pay huge maintenance costs and destroy carbon reducing trees. Where is your common sense??” is a canned response disguising the real reason, that is, push back from the unions. Florida Power and Light just today announced the extension of a project to place more power lines underground addressing first locations with the most problems. If PP&L dosen’t take the initiative then the PA legislators should require migration, maybe something like .1% a year.

        Reply
      • william h fitch iii

        Your pro-active prevention regarding trees, squirrel boots, etc.. and the like, has been noticed in recent years…..
        Thanks…
        …..Bill

        Reply
    • william h fitch iii

      Hello: “I believe PPL should support safe nuclear energy. Solar and wind are not a viable source of clean energy; produce so little.”
      With great restraint, I will reply as follows. I use Solar Thermal and Geo-Thermal and Solar PV. In 2015 I produced from Solar PV (Solar Electric) alone 14.543 MWH (Mega Watt Hours), 2016 15.629 MWH, 2017 14.293 MWH and 2018 12.463 MWH. This not only covers my home and business but has wiped out 80% of my gasoline use through one full EV (Electric Vehicle) and one PHEV (Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicle) running about 42 thousand miles in 3 years with an avoidance of ~1800 gallons of gasoline valued at a bit over $5200, for the full EV alone. Suggesting that solar and wind are not viable, totally clean energy sources is absurd.
      A fact for you Charlene, in 1.25 days time, the amount of solar energy that hits the earths surface (not the outer atmosphere) equals all the energy burned from all fossil fuels since the beginning of mans ability to burn them!! ALL OF THEM!!

      Reply
      • Eric Fedder

        I would like to see your solar power ggeneration rig. How much did you pay for it…how much govt. Subsity did you get…what is your payback in years for capitol costs…what is the environmental impact of the PV panel production…how about your battery storage bank? I doubl your money estimates if you truely account for the total costs. 14 megawatts takes over 16 hundred horsepower of engine power to ggenerate…you must have a hellova solar array!

        Reply
        • William H Fitch III

          I didn’t say 14 Megawatts, I said 14 MWH (Mega Watt Hours), or 14,000 KWH if you like.
          It would take about 47,000 300 watt panels to generate 14 million watts using current panel efficiencies and output.

          Reply
    • Cliff

      I cannot call nuclear safe energy when they cannot find a place to safely store there spent radioactive fuel other on the ground on the plant facility. I live within 1 1/4 miles of the plant and do not like waste stored that close and they have no place to take it.

      Reply
  3. Steven Simcox

    One would think that after the Three Mile Island accident, the issues of disposing with spent nuclear fuel, the threat terror assaults on plants, potential theft of nuclear material which might be incorporated into dirty bombs, cost over runs, and the simple fact that these plants have exceeded there design life, perhaps letting this obsolete technology die might be the smart thing to do. Additionally, these plants require recertification which is cost prohibitive and not being performed, so safety is a very real concern.

    If we are really a Capitalist Nation then government should not be wasting resources in an attempt to shield legacy technology from market forces which are eager and ready to replace it with superior solutions. Personally I think we should be investing in our future, energy storage and transmission, which will lower costs of solar and wind prevailing in the long run. This how Capitalism should work in America.

    Reply
    • ELAINE CRUMP

      I totally agree, Seven! Disposing of nuclear waste is a real concern to me and why I don’t support investing in nuclear power. How do we reach out to our legislature?

      Reply
      • Michael A Connor

        Ppl will create a monopoly if other sources of energy are not available. Regarding disposal of nuclear, those government officials you are looking to reach out to, are the ones who were suppose to come up with solutions for storing the spent fuel

        Reply
        • Steve M

          Nuclear creates just as much of a monopoly as coal and other fossil fuels.

          Solar, Wind, Micro Hydro, Geo-thermal, etc can all be done on your own, breaking the monopoly.

          Reply
    • Larry Robertson

      I agree that the market place should be a primary factor in Nuclear and other means of generation; however, this article does not mention that PP&L receives subsidies that Nuclear does not. A level playing field would mean eliminating the subsidies that support non-nuclear or at least giving Nuclear the same subsidies.

      Reply
    • TS

      Pretty much every you just said is just a falsehood or misleading. Congrats.

      Reply
  4. Escarlen Gonzalez

    Perdí mi contraseña

    Reply
    • Alecia Weaver

      Muchas gracias por llamar a PPL. Podemos ayudarte si llamas a 1-800-342-5775. Tenemos representates que puede communicar en espanol.

      Reply
  5. James Wilkinson

    Hello,
    Nuclear Power is the largest source of carbon free power available in America. While this bill may raise the price for you to purchase wholesale electricity the effect that it would cause on my bill will not be more than $0.01 a kWh. And this would only be on the generation charge of my bill, currently at $0.04.9 a kWh, which would result in a $5 / month increase on my bill. This is a small and justifiable price to pay for my grandkids to have world that can actually be lived in.
    Thank you for thinking about the consumers, but this is something where I think the average consumer is misinformed and I would personally prefer Nuclear Purchases and subsidies.

    Reply
    • Steve M

      Nuclear doesn’t give them a clean world to live it, but solar, wind, todal, geothermal, and other renewables do.

      Nuclear is not clean and the waste is a big issue.

      Look at the UK and HInkley Point C, billions in overruns and the most expensive power in the nation. We need to end oil subsidies, end natural gas subsidies , and end nuclear subsidies. Yes, there are comparatively tiny subsidies available to renewables, but they don’t compare to dirty energy subsidies.

      Reply
      • TS

        The waste is not a big issue. Stop it.

        Reply
  6. John Zebraitis

    There should be no subsidies for electric power generation whether it be wind, solar, gas, nuclear, coal, etc. This totally distorts the true cost of power generation and allows inefficient operators to compete at the expense of the consumer. The so called “green” power generation by wind/solar cannot supply the demand especially during unfavorable weather conditions. Hydroelectric and nuclear generation are reliable.

    Reply
    • CSA

      Thank you, John Z for putting it in a nutshell. Well put!

      Reply
  7. Noah Adams

    Would your stance on this be different if you hadn’t recently sold off your nuclear plant at Susquehanna?

    Reply
    • Steve M

      That doesn’t change the fact that nuclear is expensive and leaves millenia of dangerous radioactive waste.

      Oh, and let’s not forget the terrorism risk associated with plutonium and uranium.

      Reply
  8. Jeff C

    As a Three Mile Island employee and a PPL customer this is news is very disheartening to hear. My employment aside, to know that our own electric companies can’t recognize the consequences of a power grid that has no diversity. Electric rates will rise, We get that! With this legislation to restructure the energy market it is suggested that on average for a family household that a monthly bill could rise $1.77. My monthly Netflix bill just raised an extra $2 a month. Was $2 enough for me to cancel my account? no not at all. Will I be cancelling my electric with a rate increase like that? absolutely not. The idea that it would be such a burden as to make it unbearable is ridiculous. A raise to my electric bill, I find justifiable because I am helping to support a more diverse and efficient electric grid within the state of Pennsylvania. The less diverse a grid, the more we have to pay for reliability and the more of a monopoly it creates, so what stops whose left from raising prices anyways because there is no one left to compete.
    Ok, now switch gears, lets say we let both TMI and Beaver Valley close. The state has now lost thousands of full-time jobs and hundreds of more annual contract jobs. State and local governments have lost millions in tax revenue effecting our children’s schools, our local police and fire, community development and welfare programs, the list go’s on and on. How does a community make up for that? I sure don’t know but I have a sneaky feeling that guess what, taxes will raise elsewhere. I don’t claim to know all the facts or know the politics, but as a citizen and as a man of reasonable conscience, I see the bottom line as this. 1) if this state had a chance to add 1,600 new jobs they would be all over it, so why be so hasty to lose any jobs at all. 2) our energy bills are going to go up no matter what, based on saving a diverse electric grid or paying for a less diverse grid to be reliable. 3) The tax revenue, and community outreach that these companies generate and create is huge and critical for community survival.

    Reply
  9. angrybird

    PPL you have totally disgusted me today with that one sided email you sent out on this topic! I have your email notifications for what I thought were billing purposes, not to be a lending ear to a disgruntled company! It may be wise to rethink your actions when quite a large number of employees will be relying on these subsidies in order to keep their jobs, not to mention many of them live in the surrounding area in which you service!!!

    Reply
  10. Ed Hickman

    PPLs position is on nuclear power is disappointing. I strongly support clean air and water in PA and nuclear plants supply carbon free energy day in and day out. They need to be included as a renewable resource of energy to help fight climate change. A few bucks on my bill each month is money well spent. Spending some money on Nuclear is far better then throwing it away on wind farms and solar fields that don’t supply meaningful amounts of electricity.

    Reply
  11. Alex Waardenburg

    The history of safe operation of America’s large nuclear fleet is a testimony to the safety of this technology. We must maintain the carbon free power sources we have until all power is carbon free.

    Reply
  12. Georgiann Eccleston

    Can you share information about who to contact to express our opinions to our legislators?

    Reply
  13. Jane Cooepr

    Nuclear energy is never clean energy. The wastewater raises temperatures of rivers, streams into which it exits with negative effects on flora and fauna. Plants leak radioactive substances. Radioactive waste is dumped, destroying ecosystems.In Germany and other EU nations, “green” poew generation by wind/solar are supplying demand along with hydroelectric power. Subsides for electric power generation distort the true cost and of power generation and encourage inefficiency and unfair profit taking. I fully support PPL’s stance on no subsidies for nuclear and I am gratified that PPL supports mine.

    Reply
  14. Kathy

    Not in favor of subsidizing the result of the incident at TMI. The 5 billion they already received should have covered costs. I live on a limited income and cannot afford any additional charges on any bills, least of all electric. I have an all elec home and freeze myself all winter in NE PA just to pay the bills I receive now. I stand with PPL on this issue.

    Reply
  15. Joe W.

    I think whoever wrote this is really trying to fear monger the whole prices shooting up scenario. I’m sure relieved to hear you guys have a plan for making money off of dirty energy for the next 40 years instead of taking an option NOW to cut the emissions down. I’d rather pay for a future my kids can live in with nuclear.

    Reply
    • Michael A Connor

      Thank you Joe. Ppl isn’t providing the whole story. If there aren’t alternative forms of energy, a monopoly will be created causing the increase in what we pay. Nuclear is asking to receive the same benefits as solar energy being to that it has a zero emissions.

      Reply
    • Martin Martin

      I quite agree, fossil fuels have had their day. The present government does not appear to see that, profit before people it seems. They have made it financially unviable to try to develop environmentally friendly renewable energy. It seems nuclear is the most sensible option remaining.

      Reply
  16. Tim Zech

    Shame on you PPL. You owned Susquehanna for nearly 35 years and now since you sold the plant, you are against Nuclear Power?? How about all of our money that is being spent to support windmills and solar, which in this area is a very poor investment. Lets put everyone on a level playing field and see who stays in business. I am very ashamed to say that I worked for PPL for over 30 years at the NUC and now since you sold us off you are turning against us. It’s all about how much money you can make. Shame on you PPL.

    Reply
  17. JOHN_in_MountJoy

    Smart meters. Smart enough to figure out when to charge me more for my electric. Really, where does it stop? Will I have to do my laundry at 3 in the morning? I agree that ALL production should be audited the same. The PUC is a joke though. No oversight. Seems like anybody can invite them to a free luncheon and get special treatment. I don’t really feel like Harrisburg has ANY good answers. Not sure how much longer I’m staying in PA. Tired of footing the bill for programs that only benefit Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Vote with your feet people.

    Reply
  18. George Palmiter

    The thing is nuclear Power is far from being green that spent nuclear fuel has to go somewhere and it will be around for 1000 of years and people who are talking about three mile island didn’t they have a partial meltdown in the late 70s

    Reply
  19. Brian H.

    Thank you for taking this stand PPL! I am a proponent of nuclear but I am more so a free market capitalist. Government should not be picking winners and losers in energy.

    Reply
  20. Jim T

    I urge you to do a little research before you comment in favor of nuclear. It only takes a few minutes to do a little research on your phone to figure out why it’s been decades since they’ve built a nuclear plant in the United States. While nuclear has its benefits the risks out way the benefits in my opinion. Those in favor say it’s safe they say it has zero carbon impact. I say preach that to the residents of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima! I guess those in favor of nuclear don’t care about our rivers and streams and the animals and vegetation that are being infected by radioactive material being released from these plants. If nuclear so Good why are we fighting so hard to disarm North Korea of their nuclear weapons maybe we should all have them in our homes? Take a minute and Google The leaky containers in Nevada where the nuclear waste is leaking into the Earth I guess that’s no big deal either? Dig a little deeper in history and you will find that in the early 1900s scientist warned that the Earth would be destroyed in 10 to 15 years if we didn’t stop carbon output. That was over a hundred years ago I guess they were wrong! I am all for being good stewards of our environment, but I am not in favor of technology, that if it goes wrong, can cause large casualties like nuclear can do.

    Reply
    • TS

      Woo boy. That was quite a comment filled with almost no factual basis. 1 facility was just completed in 2016, 2 Nuclear plants are under construction right now with 16 more planned. Yes, after chernobyl, people were turned off from Nuclear by fearmongerers like you.

      You claim you care about the rivers and streams, but I’ll direct you to the fact that pollution that oil and coal causes vastly outweighs the pollution that nuclear does.

      I have no idea what you are trying to say about North Korea… That was weird.

      You are vastly overplaying the containment center in Nevada. But yes, if we are to store spent fuel, it needs to be heavily regulated and maintained.

      People have been saying the world is going to end since the beginning of time. But ok, talk more about your unsourced claims.

      Lots of tech can kill a lot of people if it goes wrong, yet we keep going and make it work so that doesn’t happen.

      Reply
  21. Kurt

    Take a look around at what other countries have decided about nuclear energy. Countries that had the insight to be prudent about risk assessment include Australia, Austria, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Portugal,Belgium, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. Sometimes what poses a threat to security can be a nebulous concept, because nobody has tomorrow’s newspaper and hindsight is always twenty-twenty. As a general policy, this cannot be taken lightly in regard to the “X factor” surrounding nuclear energy. Just eight years and a few days ago, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Ōkuma, Fukushima Prefecture after an earthquake, a chain of events led to the insufficient cooling led to three nuclear meltdowns, hydrogen-air explosions, and the release of radioactive material in Units 1, 2 and 3 from 12 to 15 March. Loss of cooling also raised concerns over the recently loaded spent fuel pool of Reactor 4, which increased in temperature on 15 March due to the decay heat from the freshly added spent fuel rods but did not boil down to exposure. I think the above countries’ policy is based on responsible FORESIGHT for the future in the name of Murphy’s Law.
    As far as John Z. just said about wind/solar energy “not working” during unfavorable weather conditions, you have to remember we are discussing an energy PORTFOLIO. But I agree with what John Z. said about letting the “free hand” of the economy run the market. Remember, consumers do have a choice what type of energy they support here in Pennsylvania and https://www.makebenproud.com/ppl.html shows that PPL customers can easily find a wind energy supplier for less than the price to compare.
    As PPL’s statement put it, “No one disputes that nuclear energy is carbon-free, but don’t confuse narrow nuclear subsidy proposals with efficient and effective economy-wide, market-based efforts to move the state toward a low carbon future.”

    Reply
    • Steve M

      I would also add that solar still works in overcast .

      Solar and wind complement each other greatly. When there’s a storm, solar production may drop, but wind increases.

      Energy storage will be a big help in dealing with production and demand discrepancies.

      We also shouldn’t forget hydro

      Reply
  22. al

    Just want to throw this out Hazardous Materials

    The PV cell manufacturing process includes a number of hazardous materials, most of which are used to clean and purify the semiconductor surface. These chemicals, similar to those used in the general semiconductor industry, include hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrogen fluoride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and acetone. The amount and type of chemicals used depends on the type of cell, the amount of cleaning that is needed, and the size of silicon wafer [4]. Workers also face risks associated with inhaling silicon dust. Thus, PV manufactures must follow U.S. laws to ensure that workers are not harmed by exposure to these chemicals and that manufacturing waste products are disposed of properly.

    Thin-film PV cells contain a number of more toxic materials than those used in traditional silicon photovoltaic cells, including gallium arsenide, copper-indium-gallium-diselenide, and cadmium-telluride[5]. If not handled and disposed of properly, these materials could pose serious environmental or public health threats. However, manufacturers have a strong financial incentive to ensure that these highly valuable and often rare materials are recycled rather than thrown away.

    Reply
  23. Phil

    The first comment here on March 9th starts off by saying that nuclear isn’t asking for a bailout, then in the second sentence references the 1996 Competition Act in Pennsylvania, the deregulation. Actually, as part of the 1996 Competition Act in Pennsylvania Three Mile Island got a 9 billion dollar bailout which took consumers a decade to pay off. That was after ratepayers and taxpayers paid a 1 billion dollar bailout after the Three Mile Island meltdown, then ratepayers paid another 1 billion dollar bailout yet again around 1995.
    Three Mile Island’s owner, Excelon Corp and some labor unions are lobbying to Rep. Thomas Mehaffie, R-Dauphin County and a couple other state representatives that now they want to rewrite the Pennsylvania Alternative Portfolio Standard, which phased in a requirement of 18 percent of the grid to be sourced by alternative energy such as wind, solar, hydro-electric, geothermal, municipal solid waste and demand-side management by fiscal year 2021. They want the PA Alternative Portfolio Standard Act rewritten to make it so consumers would be mandated to purchase 50 percent of the state’s demand from a new nuclear category. So if it isn’t a FOURTH BAILOUT, then what do you could call 50 percent of the electricity demand mandated from nuclear? Maybe not jammed down our throats, but just sort of eased down our esophagus gently? I suppose it could be worst; Anybody remember Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS) aka operation “Whoops”? It was to finance nuclear power plants and turned out to be the number one largest municipal debt default in history.
    Let Excelon Corp, some unions and lobbyists kick and scream, but no thank you. I do just fine fueling my house with 100 percent wind electricity for the same price or less as somebody just referenced.

    Reply
    • John Johnson

      You an idiot if you think the wind always blows and sun always shine

      Reply
    • Melissa Mae

      1) They should open their books
      2) They should figure out how to deal with the spent fuel so taxpayers aren’t on the hook for the clean-up. Solar and Wind don’t have that expensive clean up

      Reply
  24. Ben J

    This one-sided email blast from PPL Utilities is a shame. Why are the ramifications that will happen if nuclear generation goes to zero are not discussed? Cost wise, there will be in increase in the market as fossil fuels will have a monopoly on the market. As far as greenhouse gases, the only viable substitution currently for the load size that nuclear provides is fossil fuels. Even if these are new natural gas plants, they will still increase our carbon emissions drastically.

    Does this email blast and stance from PPL have anything to do with Talen’s lawsuit for $733 million against PPL?

    http://www.lvb.com/article/20181029/LVB01/181029875/ppl-corp-sued-for-733m-by-talen-energy-affiliate-others

    Reply
    • Cheryl Dorko, Dorko Wealth & Estate Planning

      It appears that a number of these comments are from employees of Talen and other nuclear energy companies. In fairness, you should identify yourselves as such.
      As a financial advisor, I believe it would be fiscally unwise to throw more public money after nuclear power, which is one of the most expensive forms of energy.

      Reply
    • Philip Gilmore

      Apparently your reference to the Talon lawsuit site does not connect to it. It just connects to a LVB page which does not respond if you do not have a login code…

      Reply
  25. theresa sawyer

    Wind and solar production does not leave behind toxic waste that has to be stored some where on this planet. Wind and solar do not pose the health risk that nuclear plants like TMI did when it was a near melt down. I am sick and tired of government bailing out industries that do not run efficiently. Do not bail this industry out at our expense.

    Reply
    • Philip Gilmore

      Just a general comment on Wind and Solar generation. Wind turbines need maintenance on a periodic basis to lubricate bearings and gearboxes, paint the towers, repair/replace blades, etc. Solar also has maintenance issues regarding the repair of motorized direction control of the panels, adjustments of same, cleaning surfaces of panels to maintain peak efficiency, snow removal in areas that have significant snowfall and repair of damage caused by wind, hail, etc. Although these maintenance costs for wind and solar are not extremely high as those of nuclear power are, they do exist. Wind and solar, while highly desirable sources of decentralized power production, are not “set and forget” solutions.

      Reply
  26. Bill S.

    I applaud PPL in standing up for us customers and speaking out against the idea that legislators sign off our rights and give nuclear plant owners a gun to put to our heads and demand that we fund their fiasco and require that PPL purchase as much as 50% of customer demand from a single nuclear energy provider.

    Al Gore’s apocalyptic Inconvenient Truth was released May 24th 2006 (11 years ago), in that movie he portrayed a melting ice cap, rising sea levels, vanishing Polar Bears and that we only had ten years left to avoid a major catastrophe. Of course, we are all still here and “global warming” had to be renamed to “climate change”. There is no significant rising of sea levels and the Polar Bear Population has quad rippled.

    All the scare tactics from the politically motivated left are based on unproven, unverifiable theoretical b.s. and fake computer models instead of empirical data. Climate change is a HOAX. According to a new study (from data gleaned by satellites monitoring earth since the late 1970’s) the University of Alabama-Huntsville – funded by the Department of Energy reported that there has been virtually no change in the rate of warming in the atmosphere for the past twenty-three years.

    And as we know from history – the Chernobyl disaster and the Three Mile Island nightmare events can happen again. So why all of a sudden do the environmentalists want support the funding of a radioactive time-bomb..? When it happens again, they will be the first to be pointing fingers…!!!

    Reply
    • TS

      Uhm… There is absolutely no basis to support your claim that Polar bear population has quadrupled. At all.

      You’re also downright lying when you are citing the University of Alabama Huntsville
      https://www.nsstc.uah.edu/climate/
      Why are you lying?

      Reply
  27. Keith

    Nuclear generation is not going to zero. PJM, the grid operator knows that a certain percentage of nuclear and coal plants are expected to retire due to less expensive electricity sources. PJM stress-tested the grid, projecting a few hundred different scenarios such as polar-vortex winters and escalated coal and nuclear plant retirements. The study result was that “there is no imminent threat” to the reliability of the system.
    There are 33 nuclear reactors operating in the PJM territory. PJM closely studied its resilience to the expected nuclear plant retirements. As to suggested fear of lack of competition, the Pennsylvania PUC put PA in the national forefront as a model fostering competition, as evidenced by at least one link I saw in here. Competition has been ingrained in the PA PUC’s system for some time now, where consumers have choice.
    (Talen’s lawsuit has nothing to do with Exelon’s Three Mile Island, so there is no relevance other than it being used as a distraction here.)

    Reply
    • Bill S

      I don’t see how requiring PPL to purchase as much as 50% of customer demand from a single nuclear energy provider squares with the PUC putting PA in the national forefront as a model fostering competition. I would think/hope that the PUC would side with PPL on this issue. Maybe PPL could ask their environmentalist customers to volunteer to step forward and buy their power from nuclear providers then they can put their money where their mouth is, while the rest of us continue to shop for our energy instead of being forced to subsidize a Corporate bailout.

      Reply
  28. Hammockman

    All the spent fuel rods are being stored in pools on site at the power plants that use nuclear reactors. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has never issued a permit for the transportation of spent fuel rods. There is no place to process or store spent fuel rods. The spent fuel rods pools are a potential hazard. The future economic cost associated with spent fuel rods should be part of the conversation.

    Reply
  29. ppl customoer

    all about the $$$

    Reply
  30. Matt H.

    It’s obviously about money. Otherwise you would think somebody were being sarcastic when making comments like saying that they hope to see a world of nuclear energy for their grandchildren with their contemporaries perplexed about what to do with dangerous nuclear waste. It would be a safe bet that such comments would come from a lobbyist, somebody with a vested financial interest in nuclear or the like. As to statements that man made climate change is a hoax and that NASA and most prominent scientists don’t know what they’re talking about, it’s hardly worth comment. As the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change put it, “Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.”
    Fortunately according to the PA PUC August 2018 Electric Power Outlook, there have been continued additions of wind and solar. PA has the Appalachian Mountain crests in Southwestern and Northeastern PA for this additional wind production. Moreover, it points out that there are retirement plans that have been announced for 14 nuclear units, totaling 10.5 GW. Good news, considering the cost of nuclear electricity is over double that of wind electricity. Pennsylvania’s annual share of electricity generation from natural gas has been on the decline in recent years while renewable generation is increasing, according to the 2017 PA PUC Annual Alternative Energy Portfolio Report. The trend is that Pennsylvania’s electricity production will become more like that of Texas (which produces almost three times as much electricity as Pennsylvania), where wind energy accounts for about 15 percent of all in-state electricity production, while that of nuclear is only 8.5 percent. (Texas stats for electricity production: 19.5% renewable of which 14.8% is wind, 45.8% natural gas, 25.5% coal and 8.5% nuclear.) Pennsylvania’s current electricity production stats: 4.7% renewable of which 1.7% is wind, 33.2% natural gas, 22.4% coal and 39.3% nuclear.) But wind production keeps going up in PA and 14 nuclear units have been announced to be closing. Granted, a certain amount of nuclear generation may be a needed baseline and right now and few percent of total electricity production from that technology may be needed. PPL customers could also use that power of choice to get out-of-state renewable electricity or even wind energy from the local region near the Commonwealth transmitted over the grid.
    In regard to spent fuel rods, responsible, mandated handling of those are a cost of doing business. It is the nature of the beast that years of billable revenue will be followed by this expense. It would be inappropriate to expect a bailout for that expense directly attributable to years of revenue enjoyed by shareholders. Even more absurd than expecting such “hangover medicine” in the form of a bailout would be the argument that we should continue inefficient and risky nuclear generation against social policy, in this case it would be a kin to just continuing to purchasing more booze rather than the “hangover medicine”. In regard to spent fuel rods, the NRC allows “dry cask storage” offsite OR at reactor. The Union of Concerned Scientists recommended that the NRC upgrade existing regulations with existing technologies.

    Reply
  31. Lizzy g

    PA lawmakers should visit Florida Power and Light and ask them how a state that is so hot so long can offer the least expensive rates. My condo in Naples Fl highest monthly bill last year was $70.00. I think we are paying way too much in PA I have had PPL and your rates are okay and i have had PECO and they are theives with their charges. No one looks at states where the actual bills are best because they would rather go in for a rate hike like PECO did for gas this year than to work on getting us batter rates. And i agree that these utilities brag about the community programs. Lets give the customers who pay the bill a BREAK! PS i do not like or trust nuclear power.

    Reply
  32. Jonny johnson

    This coming from a company, that paid significant more that market price (10 million) just to build sub station on it to make one large customer happy. Also over 200 million for smart meters even though the meters we had meet the smart meters act, you know who pays for this us the customers with a hefty mark up. What the article doesn’t state is how much us customers will pay if it isn’t passed much more because gas companies will take us just like they do at the pumps

    Reply
  33. Henry M.

    Chart 4 on page 13 of http://www.puc.pa.gov/Electric/pdf/AEPS/AEPS_Ann_Rpt_2017.pdf Alternative Energy Portfolio
    Standards Act 2017 Annual Report gives an idea of the cost of nuclear, natural gas (“NG”) and the various renwables.
    Renewable energy generating companies in PPL terriroty are providing some good healthy competition. When PPL announces their new “price to compare” on June 1 and December, there is a flurry of acticity with the various renewable energy generating companies pivitoting for their respective new price strategies. For whatever reason, some renewable energy generating companies are better able than others to beat the PPL price-to-compare in https://www.makebenproud.com/ppl.html

    Reply
  34. Conor

    As a shareholder and current customer this is deeply disappointing and disheartening. Personally I pay an a lot more For 100% renewable energy and it is disheartening to look at the short term. natual disasters and severe weather will damage power lines and other infrustructure which will lead to higher overall costs down the road which I am sure will be passed down to us as customers. Do your part now and address this serious issue. It will benefit us all from an economic and environmental standpoint in the long run.

    Reply
  35. William S

    Where was the concern for the customer’s wallet when PPL swayed the state PUC to de-regulate the electric industry and have the customers pay for it via increased electric rates and large tax write-offs for their generating plants? Where was the concern for the customer’s wallet when they swayed the state PUC to increase rates to implement upgrades to their electrical grid “to improve reliability’? Wasn’t system maintenance costs already incorporated into our electric bills for the past several decades? Where did all that money that was earmarked for system maintenance and upgrades go? In essence PPL is double charging the customer for the upgrading the grid. How about all the years that PPL intentionally failed to maintain the grid and waited for storm damage to replaced aged equipment and pass the cost onto the customer. Ask why if de-regulation was so great for Pennsylvania why did PPL go out and purchase a regulated electric utility in Kentucky? Why isn’t PPL looking to de-regulate Kentucky as well to help their customers there reap the benefits of an open market? By the way, didn’t PPL build the nuclear power plant in Berwick? Lot of questions we’ll never hear answers to. Stop and think about it and I think you’ll see PPL isn’t looking out for your best interest in this matter.

    Reply
  36. William S

    One needs to ask the following question. If PPL is just the delivery man for a product (electricity), why would they want to weigh in on any particular side? When they de-regulated the electric industry in PA they stated they didn’t care where customers got their power from. After building and operating a nuclear plant for almost 40 years and then selling it off, now they have become anti-nuclear suddenly. Of the course the logical question is why? Well let’s do a little digging. The CEO and President of PPL is William (Bill) Spence. Now go over to Bloomberg.com and search for PPL Corporation and look at the company overview. You will see that Bill just happens to be a present director for the Williams Companies, LLC and an independent director of WPZ GP, LLC. Look up the Williams Companies and you will see that they are an energy company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Its core business is natural gas processing and transportation, with additional petroleum and electricity generation assets. Now, let’s move on to WPZ GP, LLC. Their information shows that they operate as a general partner for Access Midstream Partners, L.P. which owns, operates, develops, and acquires natural gas gathering systems and other midstream energy assets in the United States. Starting to see the bigger picture yet? Put the squeeze on nuclear while still allowing wind and solar to receive subsidies will create a need to more generation when the nuclear plants shutdown. Naturally, the replacement will be natural gas plants, which by the way produce about 60% of the CO2 emissions that coal fired plants do, which means more business and profits for companies like the Williams Companies. and WPZ GP, LLC. Nuclear plants in PA generate about 42% of the state’s power. Taking nuclear out of the picture or minimizing it just provides more room for the natural gas industry. So, when PPL and its leadership tell you they are looking out for the customers’ best interests in this matter keep in mind that Bill Spence’s best interest lies with the natural gas industry.

    Reply
    • Carl S

      Your comments are spot on, WILLIAM S. Thanks for your clear and correct perspective with all this noise.

      Reply
  37. Mark Cunningham

    The prohibitive cost of nuclear is not a whole lot of noise and in fact DOES look after the customers’ bests interests. According to the United States Energy Information Administration, the expected cost of electricity from some of the relevant sources are as follows:
    Solar PV: $ 58.1/MWh
    Wind – Onshore: $ 44.3/MWh
    Advanced Nuclear: $ 96.2/MWh
    Advanced Natural Gas Combustion Turbine: $ 87.1/MWh
    Conventional Natural Gas Combustion Turbine: $100.7/MWh
    Advanced Natural Gas Combined Cycle: $ 53.8/MWh
    Conventional Natural Gas Combined Cycle: $ 58.6/MWh
    One could hypothesize conspiracy theories ad infintum, but they are just theories. The prohibitive cost of nuclear is a no-brainer.
    The numbers don’t lie.

    Reply

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