Illinois approves a major overhaul of its energy policies

Illinois will give Exelon Corp. $235 million in ratepayer subsidies to keep the company’s Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear power plants open, as part of a bipartisan deal that drew support from the state’s renewable-energy community.

The legislation also updates Illinois’ renewable-energy portfolio standard, expands efficiency programs and preserves net metering for rooftop solar projects. The final version scrapped Exelon’s proposed mandatory demand charges on all residential customers.
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed SB 2814 into law on Dec. 7. Exelon Corp. had said the two nuclear plants would soon close if the legislation failed to pass. Michigan’s Agency for Energy was watching the proceedings in Illinois with some interest, because the Clinton and Quad Cities plants contribute to the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s reserve margin, upon which the state relies for summertime electricity imports.
Midwest Energy News reported on Dec. 5 that Michigan’s three nuclear power plants — Palisades, Cook and Fermi 2 — are on solid financial footing at least through 2021. Palisades’ power-purchase agreement with Consumers Energy expires in 2022, however.
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Stateline Midwest: December 20162.59 MB