The first PJM capacity auction in three years saw some of the lowest clearing prices in its history. The auction resulted in an RTO clearing price of $50/MW-day, which is down from $140/MW-day in the previous auction, and lower than analyst’s expectations, due, in part, to a lower load forecast and reserve requirement. Another factor that had an impact on the lower clearing price was a 19% drop in the cost to build a new generator and enter the market, according to PJM. PJM also said that renewable energy, nuclear, and new natural gas-fired generators saw the greatest increases in cleared capacity, while coal units saw the largest decrease.
Despite the increase of nearly 4,000 MW of cleared nuclear capacity, three of Exelon’s nuclear plants in Illinois failed to clear. Two of those facilities, the Byron and Dresden generating stations will be retired prematurely this fall, Exelon has announced. The third, Quad Cities nuclear plant will continue to operate however, as it is supported by the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act.