While the sun beat down on Maryland over the weekend, sending temperatures and energy demand soaring, Exelon Generation’s Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant operated the dual unit plant at full power, which produced enough carbon-free electricity to keep more than one million homes and businesses safe and cool.
That predictable, sustained energy production helped keep energy market prices stable throughout the heat wave.
“Our zero-carbon nuclear energy facilities remain online when customers need us most, during extreme weather,” Exelon Generation Chief Nuclear Officer Bryan Hanson said in a press release. “I want to thank the thousands of men and women working at our plants who kept our fleet operating during this period of high electricity demand.
Our nuclear facilities are among the safest and most reliable in the country because of our dedicated, highly trained employees.”
Carbon-free nuclear energy not only provides the electricity needed for air conditioning during extreme heat, it does so without releasing the harmful carbon emissions like those from fossil fuel plants.
The release of harmful carbon emissions makes air quality worse for seniors and others at risk of health problems related to air pollution.
Always-on nuclear energy reduces the need for carbon-emitting peaker plants to come online during periods of high demand, which can increase market prices for electricity.
Exelon Generation’s Calvert Cliffs, Maryland’s only nuclear power plant was online 96% of 2018, including during extreme weather events.
More than 34% of Maryland’s electricity is generated by nuclear energy.
In fact, 80% of Maryland’s carbon-free power is produced by nuclear energy, preventing the average annual equivalent of two and one quarter million cars worth of carbon dioxide from entering earth’s atmosphere.
Summer resiliency and reliability requires year-long planning, preparation and maintenance.
Exelon Generation workers spend months ensuring that backup generators and spare equipment is ready for extreme weather.
This spring, operators and maintenance personnel inspected mechanical systems, tested electrical equipment, and properly aligned plant systems to prepare all Exelon Generation-operated facilities for extreme temperatures.
These efforts are in addition to the many equipment upgrades and “summer readiness” maintenance activities performed during refueling outages.
All of Exelon Generation’s 22 reactors remained online during the recent heat wave that hit across the country. For more information, go to www.exeloncorp.com.