'Benefits' for Maryland, including $100 BGE rebate
Constellation's board is selling one of Maryland's heritage companies to Chicago-based Exelon, so it is quite sensitive about trying to show how this is a great development for Baltimore. It's not a great development for Baltimore. However the merger announcement includes several paragraphs on purported upsides for Maryland, including a $100 rebate for each residential BGE customer.
The combined company would commit to $10 million in charitable giving in Maryland for a decade after the merger. It would spend $50 million to build 25 megawatts of renewable electricity generation in the state and $10 million on developing Maryland electric-vehicle infrastructure. The news release says "the growth engine of the combined company will be headquartered in Baltimore," meaning Exelon's power marketing division will be combined with Constellation's and based here, and the companies' renewable energy operation will be based here. And: "To house the expanded Baltimore commercial and renewable energy headquarters, the new company intends to build or substantially renovate a state-of-the-art Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) office center in Baltimore."
Total benefits for Maryland, the companies claim, are $250 million. Despite all the talk about growth, however, Constellation may end up having fewer employees in Baltimore. Mergers like this make money for shareholders through efficiencies, and efficiencies usually include layoffs.
The Maryland Public Service Commission will almost certainly seek more than $100 from this for each BGE customer. And it's not at all clear that this deal, like previous Constellation or BGE combinations, won't founder on the shoals of PSC demands.
The bigwigs are having a conference all at 10, which I'll be liveblogging.