Exelon Generation has announced plans for more than 300 million worth of capital projects at its Byron and Dresden plants, and hiring 650 employees, following the state of Illinois’s passage of clean energy legislation.
Exelon plans to invest more than $140 million in Byron Station in the next five years on projects overhauling a main generator, replacing large transformers, upgrading a fiber optic control system and replacing various pumps, motors and piping in the plant. Most of the projects will occur during refueling outages starting next year that will include more than 1,500 electricians, pipe fitters, welders, carpenters and other tradespeople coming to Byron from across Illinois to perform the work.
Dresden’s Unit 2 refueling outage will occur in November, and the station has nearly $170 million in capital projects planned over the next five years, including upgrades to six feedwater heat exchange vessels, significant refurbishment of a main generator, electrical component overhauls, replacement of closed cooling piping and revamping nuclear instrumentation circuit components. As with Byron, the work on these projects will be performed during refueling outages by union personnel.
Exelon Generation Chief Nuclear Officer Dave Rhoades said the company is moving quickly to restaff and refuel all of its nuclear plants. “These plants are not only important for the clean energy they produce, but they are massive economic engines for their local communities, contributing more than 1.6 billion to Illinois’ GDP each year,” he said.
The two plants are also planning to begin new training classes for the “next generation” of licensed operators, Exelon said.