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Exelon seeks hike to keep N.Y. nuclear plant open

(Bloomberg) Exelon Corp., parent company of Baltimore Gas and Electric, cleared a regulatory hurdle in a bid to charge customers extra to keep its R.E. Ginna nuclear plant in upstate New York operating. The New York Public Service Commission voted unanimously at a meeting in Albany Thursday in support of Exelon’s request to start talks with Iberdrola SA’s Rochester Gas & Electric. Chicago-based Exelon has said closing its plant, which can generate enough power for about 460,000 average U.S. homes, may increase the risk of blackouts in the Rochester area. The 580-megawatt plant in Ontario, New York, is one of four Exelon nuclear stations facing shutdown because they lose money selling power on wholesale markets. Plants in Illinois and New Jersey failed to win contracts to sell their power in auctions earlier this year as a glut in natural gas production has caused electricity prices to fall.

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