Near-perfect summer performance helped avoid more than 33 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions when air quality, reliability needed most
KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. — As fall begins, Exelon Generation reports that its nuclear facilities ran at near full power through June, July and August, providing dependable, zero-emission electricity for millions of American homes and businesses. As hotter-than-average temperatures baked much of the Midwest and East Coast, driving electricity demand up and air quality down, the fleet’s near-perfect performance helped avoid more than 33 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s equal to removing more than 7 million passenger cars from the road for one year.
Exelon Generation’s 23 nuclear reactors ran nearly all the time, recording an average capacity factor of 96.7 percent throughout the summer, which ranked as the 4th hottest on record, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. Philadelphia and Baltimore had 25 and 29 above-90-degree days, respectively, over the three-month period. Not far behind, Chicago and Syracuse, N.Y. recorded 18 and 12 above-90-degree days, respectively.
“We take very seriously our commitment to provide electricity to our customers and communities, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Bryan Hanson, president and chief nuclear officer of Exelon Generation’s nuclear fleet. “That’s why we spend months preparing for peak summer and winter periods. Nuclear power is America’s largest source of zero-carbon, baseload power and our reliability is even more important on hot days when electricity demand rises and air quality decreases.”
Exelon Generation’s industry-leading operating performance this summer required year-long planning, preparation and maintenance. Plant employees proactively perform hundreds of tests and inspections on plant equipment and systems to ensure they are in peak operating condition.
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