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April 16, 2018
Report by Brattle Economists Estimates the Impacts of Nuclear Retirements in Ohio and Pennsylvania

Brattle Principals Dean Murphy and Mark Berkman have authored a report that estimates the environmental and electricity price impacts of the announced retirements of four nuclear plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The owners of the four plants announced that they will be retired over the next several years due to challenges in wholesale power markets that do not value the environmental attributes provided by these plants.

The authors’ analysis, which draws from prior work that examined the impacts of the Ohio and Pennsylvania nuclear plants, estimates that if the four nuclear plants were to continue operation, their output would offset substantial fossil generation from gas and coal plants. They find that the retirements of these plants would:

  • Lead to an increase of over 21 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually, and tens of thousands of tons of criteria pollutants;
  • Cause a loss of zero-emissions generation greater than the total amount of renewable generation in the entire PJM region, reversing the emissions benefits of 25 years of renewable investments;
  • Raise gross electricity costs for customers by approximately $400 million for Ohio, $285 million for Pennsylvania, and $1.5 billion across all of PJM.

The report, “Impacts of Announced Nuclear Retirements in Ohio and Pennsylvania,” is available for download below.