Illinois General Assembly passes legislation to keep two nuclear plants online

Published on November 22, 2016 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

Illinois State Capitol

The Illinois General Assembly recently passed the Future Energy Jobs Bill by a vote of 9 to 1, which will help nuclear facilities remain economically viable and produce clean caseload energy in western and central Illinois.

The bill contains a zero-emission standard that could offer relief for two Illinois-based nuclear facilities, the Clinton Power Station and Quad Cities Generating Station, that have been threatened with closure. The standard incorporates the social cost of carbon dioxide emissions as a baseline for reimbursing the facilities for their lack of emissions with adjustments made based on market conditions at the time.

Additionally, the bill would almost double the energy efficiency programs and commit approximately $1 billion for programs for low-income consumers. Further, it will encourage the development of renewable energy sources and offer job training in renewable energy fields.

“It is paramount for the Illinois legislature to promote and preserve the positive contributions nuclear makes to the state, and the Future Jobs Energy Bill is key to that recognition,” said Christine Csizmadia, director of state outreach and advocacy for the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI).

Citing the state’s failure to pass a clean energy standard in an earlier session, Exelon Corp. recently announced it would close the one-reactor Clinton plant in 2017 and the two-reactor Quad Cities plant in 2018. The company said it has lost approximately $800 million over the past six years operating the facilities.

At this time, Exelon’s Braidwood, Byron, Dresden and LaSalle facilities will remain in operation.