THREAT LEVEL: MODERATE
This nuclear power plant demonstrates how little it takes to rescue our most powerful clean energy providers.
In March 2018, Beaver Valley’s owner FirstEnergy filed notice to deactivate this plant in 2021. When two years later Pennsylvania’s governor Tom Wolf ordered the state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) by 2022, the plant’s new owner, EnergyHarbor, reversed course and announced that it would keep Beaver Valley operating.
RGGI is a cap-and-trade system for carbon-dioxide emissions from electricity generators in a number of Eastern states. The auctions resulted in prices of about $5 per ton of CO2 in 2020, increasing the cost of fracked gas electricity by ~½ cent per kilowatt hour. The mere prospect of a small price increase appears to have changed the calculus.
It is important to know that the social costs of carbon emissions are being estimated to be way higher than $5 per ton. For example, New York State estimates them at $125/ton!
Beaver Valley Background
Pennsylvania’s eight nuclear power reactors produce 36% of the state’s electricity and 92% of its carbon-free electricity. These facilities employ 15,000 full-time direct and indirect in-state jobs. Pennsylvania is home to more than 500 companies working in nuclear energy.
Each plant employs a highly-trained security force, strict access controls and multiple backup safety systems to ensure safety and security for plants and nearby communities. These facilities contribute nearly $2 billion to the state gross domestic product and provide $65 billion in net state tax revenues annually.
What You Can Do
Beaver Valley Historical Performance
Initiatives to save Beaver Valley