Byrne discusses nuclear power's importance in energy diversity

Stephen Byrne, SCANA Executive VIce President spoke about the importance of nuclear power for energy diversity. | Courtesy of the NEI

In a recent interview with the Nuclear Energy Institute, SCANA Corp. Executive Vice President Stephen Byrne detailed the importance of nuclear energy for fuel diversity.

Byrne, who also serves as the president for generation and transmission for the South Carolina Electric and Gas Co., a subsidiary of SCANA, said a fleet of electricity-generation facilities would consist of plants with varying power, including baseload plants; intermediate power facilities; and those that provide energy during peak seasons of the year. In this respect, Byrne said nuclear energy is a good option for baseload power for its lack of carbon emissions and reliability.

“Now, when you are operating at peak demand — when it’s really cold in the wintertime and really hot in the summertime — chances are you’re going to be running all of your available resources, but when you’re off-peak, you really have options as to what to run,” Byrne said. “So you dispatch those, based either on economic or environmental considerations. More and more, the economic dispatch is becoming the environmental resource.”

During the interview, he also discussed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and how that might affect operations for both companies. Byrne predicted that some form of regulation or legislation on carbon would come and that impacted their decision to expand their clean energy options.

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