Major U.S. Utility Invests $5B in Green

With more than $17 billion in annual revenues, Exelon Corporation is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities. Now, they’ll be putting some of that capital to good use for the environment, with the announcement that the company plans to invest nearly $5 billion in renewable energy projects across the country.

This isn’t entirely surprising as, according to Exelon, the company is currently already the larger marketer of wind energy east of the Mississippi. Their massive green investment plan won’t make all greenies happy, as it includes plans for increased output from their existing nuclear power plants.

Twin Groves Wind Farm

image via Exelon

However,  it also includes plans to permanently retire four inefficient, carbon-intensive fossil units in Pennsylvania, get behind smart grid initiatives in Chicago and Philadelphia, establish a wind operation with John Deere and a 10 MW solar plant on Chicago’s South Side, and increase the efficiency of company operations by 23 percent.

All of which is aimed at helping Exelon to eliminate the equivalent of its 2001 carbon footprint by 2020–hence the name of the initiative, Exelon 2020. The report contains annual analysis that is company-specific, but also takes a broader view on how the industry as a whole might achieve similar carbon savings, especially in light of upcoming EPA rules designed to drastically reduce power plant air pollution. It’s available on the company’s website.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.