Exelon Generation’s R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant in Ontario is celebrating a record of carbon-free power generation and community stewardship since the first nuclear reaction took place 50 years ago in November 1969.
The plant has generated enough carbon-free electricity to power approximately 500,000 homes and businesses while preventing the release of more than 2 million tons of carbon dioxide annually — the equivalent of taking approximately 400,000 cars off the road. More than 1,000 tons of nitrogen oxide and 1,040 tons of sulfur dioxide are avoided each year.
“Nuclear energy remains a reliable source of zero-emissions energy, providing electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week through all weather conditions,” said Paul Swift, site vice president. “Last year, New York’s four nuclear units provided more than 40% of the state’s emissions-free electricity while avoiding 16 million tons of carbon annually. That’s equivalent to 3.3 million cars running the roads.”
The site supports education initiatives, environmental and conservation projects, along with local charities. Its annual giving campaign is underway and collected more than $150,000 to date.
Exelon Generation’s investments in new technology and maintenance help ensure the plant generates carbon-free power more than 95% of the time. The plant achieved its highest capacity factor in 2016, generating electricity 99.6% of the year.
“Meticulous care, investments and upgrades have resulted in a resilient plant that can serve the region with clean energy well into the future,” said Daren Blankenship, plant manager. “Ginna has more online hours than any nuclear plant in the world and we proudly look forward to maintaining that record.”
The plant employs hundreds of people, and adds another 800-1,000 jobs during biannual refueling outages. A 2015 NEI study found Ginna’s operation generates $358 million of annual economic output statewide and $450 million annually across the U.S.