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Exelon wants to retire generation unit in Baltimore County

Exelon Corp.

Exelon Corp. said Monday that it plans to retire one of its electric generation units in Baltimore County within two-and-a-half years, citing the equipment's age as a key reason.

The announcement comes as the Chicago-based energy company is ramping up plans for two new generation units in Harford County, one of the regulatory requirements of its 2012 acquisition of Baltimore's Constellation Energy Group.

Exelon said Unit 4 at Riverside Generating Station, a 74-megawatt unit fueled by natural gas, was built 62 years ago and "is not economic to operate due to its age, the escalating costs of maintaining the unit, and declining revenues." Exelon also said the unit was no longer needed.

Regional grid operator PJM Interconnection will study the plan to see if it would hurt reliability, but PJM cannot stop the retirement, only ask to delay it. Exelon said it might retire the unit early — before June 1, 2016 — if PJM finds no reliability impact.

Two combustion turbines would continue operating at Riverside, both oil-fired.

Exelon said it didn't expect to lay off any of the eight employees assigned to Unit 4, but would instead offer buyouts and positions at other locations such as Perryman Generating Station in Harford County. Perryman is where Exelon plans to build its new generation units, adding a combined 120 megawatts of capacity.

jhopkins@baltsun.com

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