Constellation said it plans to invest $800 million in new equipment to increase the output of its Braidwood and Byron Generating Stations in Illinois by approximately 135 MW. 

The utility said that the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 caused it to examine nuclear uprate opportunities that were cancelled a decade ago due to market forces. It said the 45Y tax credit for the production of new carbon-free electricity “helps make these investments economic.”

The Braidwood and Byron projects are expected to replace the main turbines at the two facilities with high efficiency units. Constellation said increased output could be available as early as 2026, with the full uprated output available by 2029. Work is expected to occur in stages during scheduled refueling outages.

Earlier in February, Constellation said it planned to allocate around $1.5 billion over the next three years for upgrade investment including nuclear uprates, wind repowering and hydrogen. 

Constellation is the largest owner and operator of nuke plants in the U.S. In October the utility said it plan to ask the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to extend the operating licenses of its Clinton and Dresden nuclear plants in Illinois by an additional 20 years.

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