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Chester County Press

Exelon Generation headquarters mulling move from Kennett Square

07/24/2018 12:09PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

In what can best be called a “kicking the tires” phase, Exelon Generation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corp., is in the early stages of exploring the option of moving its Kennett Square headquarters, where 700 employees work in two buildings, located at 200 and 300 Exelon Way.

An official statement from the subsidiary, provided to the Chester County Press by David Tillman, director of nuclear communications, reads:

“As part of our cost saving efforts, Exelon Generation’s real estate and facilities team is currently exploring location options for our Kennett Square headquarters.  While our lease doesn’t expire until late 2020, we are being proactive and expect to have a decision by the end of this year.”

While Exelon Generation's lease in Kennett Square doesn't expire for two years and no official announcement has been made, a potential relocation is right in step for its parent company, which has been an aggressive player in the mergers and acquisitions scene since it was founded in 2000, through the consolidation of the PECO Energy Company and the Unicom Corporation of Chicago.

In March 2012, Exelon Corp. merged with the Constellation Energy Group and in March 2016, it acquired Pepco Holdings. Along the way, the corporation, now headquartered in Chicago, became the largest electric parent company in the U.S., and generates revenues of approximately $33.5 billion and employs approximately 34,000 people.

Exelon Generation is now America's leading provider of zero-carbon nuclear energy, and operates two primary business units: Exelon Nuclear, which operates the nation's largest fleet of 15 nuclear power plants, as well as a wide range of hydroelectric, fossil and renewable energy facilities; and Exelon Power, which is responsible for managing, operating and maintaining the company's fleet of 26 natural gas, hydroelectric, wind, solar, landfill gas and oil reactors.

While the future of Exelon Generation in Kennett Square expects to be decided at the end of 2018, its parent company continues to position itself as a leader in an industry that has been both praised and criticized. On the plus side, the U.S. remains the world’s top producer of nuclear power, with 100 reactors providing nearly 20 percent of total U.S. electrical output.

The flip side, however, presents another story. The construction of new nuclear reactors are not keeping pace with the advent of alternative-energy sources like wind and solar power, and the low cost of natural gas. Reactors that Exelon Corp. owns – like the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station located 50 miles south of Harrisburg and the Limerick Generating Station in Montgomery County – are being maintained but not built, and many are aging and are no longer profitable.

In fact, one nuclear reactor the company owns is ready to shut down operations next year. On May 30, 2017, Exelon Corp. said that if it did not receive much-needed policy reforms to support the nuclear industry, it will prematurely close its Three Mile Island Generating Station in Harrisburg on or about September 30, 2019, on the heels of a company report that stated the plant had lost more than $300 million over the past five years. The closing would affect the jobs of 675 employees at the plant.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].