Exelon, the largest nuclear operator in the United States, has been booted from a wind energy trade group’s board of directors because the company opposes extending the wind production tax credit. A spokesman for The American Wind Energy Association told Politico that while the group is tolerant of the disparate opinions and beliefs of its members, it is not permissible for a member to attempt to derail the group’s paramount initiative: securing an extension of tax credits for wind power.

Exelon, which owns about 2 percent of the country’s wind capacity, has been lobbying members of Congress to kill the tax credits. Company executives say the credits disrupt the energy market in a way that’s counterproductive for nuclear power. They argue that the credits have been intact long enough to jumpstart the industry. Extending them, the argument goes, would unfairly favor wind power over other clean energy options.

That viewpoint doesn’t jive with the majority of AWEA board members, who voted to oust the company last week. The trade group has recently made attempts to secure an extension of the wind tax credits the hallmark of its efforts to advance the wind power industry.

Exelon became a major player in American wind power generation when it bought John Deere Renewables in 2010. The company now runs more than 35 wind projects in 10 states. Its stake in wind power production is so valuable that the company, though deeply involved with nuclear power, earned a spot of AWEA’s board.

Despite the company’s support for wind production, Exelon officials claim the wind farm tax credits effectively lower the wholesale price of electricity. That’s not good for Exelon’s bottom line. The company operates 10 nuclear plants and 17 reactors that account for about 20 percent of the nation’s total nuclear capacity. It is also vested in fossil, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, wind and solar power production. Politico reports that Exelon’s CEO told investors it has more than $400 million marked for wind development that it will funnel to other projects if the tax credits run out.

The incentives for wind farms are set to expire Dec. 31. If reelected, President Barack Obama has said he would extend the tax incentive. Republican rival Mitt Romney, however, has said he would let it expire.

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