Constellation Seeks License Renewal of Clinton Clean Energy Center for Additional 20 Years

License renewal would enable Central Illinois nuclear plant to generate enough carbon-free electricity to power the equivalent of 800,000 homes through 2047


BALTIMORE (Feb. 15, 2024) — Constellation, the nation’s largest producer of carbon-free energy, has filed a license renewal application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for its Clinton Clean Energy Center in Clinton, Ill., marking the latest in a series of investments the company is making to help address the climate crisis and support the regional economy. The filing begins a comprehensive review by the NRC to renew the station’s license, which would allow it to continue providing carbon-free energy to the region for another 20 years with adequate market or policy support. Clinton, which produces enough baseload, carbon-free electricity to power the equivalent of 800,000 homes, is currently licensed to operate through April of 2027. Illinois would need to site more than 1,000 new wind turbines to generate the same amount of electricity that Clinton will be able to provide under an extended license.

“Our nation desperately needs more new, clean, firm megawatts to power our homes, businesses, and new technologies to improve our everyday lives. This facility has operated 24/7 during the most extreme summer and winter weather to hit the Midwest in a generation, and we are doing everything possible to ensure it has the opportunity to continue to operate for another 20 years,” said Joe Dominguez, president and CEO of Constellation. “Sustained investment in our nation’s nuclear power plants, which provide about half of all the clean energy on the grid and are the most reliable source of energy, is essential. We look forward to continuing to contribute to Illinois’ clean energy future and serving as an economic engine for the local community for as long as market or policy support remains in place."

Polling in the U.S. and globally shows that public support for maintaining and expanding the use of nuclear energy has increased in recent years as concerns about climate change and energy reliability have grown. Nuclear energy plants are the only carbon-free energy resources that can operate 24/7 in all weather conditions. Constellation’s clean energy centers not only help to power the grid with reliable, clean energy, but they can also play a key role in helping to reduce emissions in difficult-to-decarbonize industries that account for as much as quarter of all the world’s carbon pollution.

The continued operation of Clinton has been enabled by state legislation enacted in 2016 recognizing the unique environmental, economic and reliability benefits of nuclear energy. Enactment of the federal nuclear production tax credit in 2022 extended policy support through 2032. Renewing the NRC license for Clinton will give Constellation the ability to keep this plant operating through 2047, although future policy and market conditions will ultimately determine how long the plant operates.

Renewing the license of Clinton would provide the State of Illinois an estimated 179 terawatt hours of additional carbon-free electricity over the 20-year extended lifespan of the license. This is more clean energy than all of Illinois’ wind and solar facilities have produced to date. The Clinton site employs 532 employees and is DeWitt County’s largest employer. The facility’s workforce more than doubles during its scheduled refueling and maintenance outages, helping increase worker payrolls and improve the bottom lines of local businesses.

“The Clinton Clean Energy Center is not only the largest carbon-free electricity source in Central Illinois, but it also provides a major boost to the economy,” said Dan Matthews, president of the Clinton School District Board and a member of the DeWitt County Board. “The more than $13 million in annual property taxes supports education and county services, and the large number of employees live here and spend money, which supports local business and creates additional jobs. The plant’s relicensing is an important part of DeWitt County’s economic future.”

The Clinton license renewal application is the latest in a series of investments to accelerate clean-energy growth initiatives across the company. In 2023, Constellation announced the acquisition of a 44 percent ownership stake in the South Texas Project nuclear plant, an $800 million uprate project at the Braidwood and Byron clean energy centers in Illinois, and a $350 million uprate of its Criterion Wind Project in Maryland. Later this year the company is scheduled to file a second license renewal for its two-unit Dresden Clean Energy Center in Morris, Ill.





About Constellation

A Fortune 200 company headquartered in Baltimore, Constellation Energy Corporation (Nasdaq: CEG) is the nation’s largest producer of clean, carbon-free energy and a leading supplier of energy products and services to businesses, homes, community aggregations and public sector customers across the continental United States, including three fourths of Fortune 100 companies. With annual output that is nearly 90% carbon-free, our hydro, wind and solar facilities paired with the nation’s largest nuclear fleet have the generating capacity to power the equivalent of 16 million homes, providing about 10% of the nation’s clean energy. We are further accelerating the nation’s transition to a carbon-free future by helping our customers reach their sustainability goals, setting our own ambitious goal of achieving 100% carbon-free generation by 2040, and by investing in promising emerging technologies to eliminate carbon emissions across all sectors of the economy. Follow Constellation on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Brett Nauman