The impact of the proposed merger of Pepco Holdings, Inc., with Exelon Corporation, a Chicago-based energy provider, was the topic of discussion between Christopher M. Crane, President and CEO of Exelon, and Economic Club President Rubenstein. Mr. Crane said the purpose of the merger is to improve utility reliability through greater scale. He predicted that the merger will not be completed until the second or third quarter of 2015 due to the number of regulatory approvals required from various state and federal agencies. He also pledged that the combined company will continue to match Pepco’s substantial philanthropic support in the D.C. metropolitan region for at least 10 years for a total of about $50 million in charitable contributions.
Excerpts from Event
Any good utility executive’s number one concern has to be reliability. If you don’t have reliability, customer satisfaction, you’re not going to get rate recovery for your investment; you’re not going to be received well in any regulatory standing.
We’re looking at what’s happened in Germany ¼ everybody wants the renewables. The nuclear plants are shut down. Their carbon footprint has increased because they’ve had to create a higher dependency on coal and natural gas, and the economics of power now in Germany are preventing them from holding the competitive position they maintained in the EU.
We don’t have an economic storage technology right now. We get breakthroughs on batteries and mass storage facilities, then you can build a system that’s much more dependent on solar and wind. But until that breakthrough happens, you have to back up those resources with either gas, coal, or nuclear.
What we have to do is get everybody to understand it’s an all-in-the-above technology right now that we have to balance our capital expenditures and our resources, focus on reliability, balance that with environmental, and then continue to advance technologies.