Thursday, December 1, 2016

Exelon, Illinois Officials Reach Agreement To Keep Nuclear Plants Open, Expand Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Efforts

Exelon Generation and ComEd Wednesday announced they have reached an agreement with Illinois Gov. Rauner on an amendment to the Future Energy Jobs Bill-- Illinois Senate Bill 2814-- to keep Exelon’s Clinton and Quad Cities Nuclear Power Plants operating.
The amendment, filed Wednesday, provides for an overall cost cap on all measures within the bill that will limit rate increases to all residential and business customers.
The amendment includes protections that limit the impact of the legislation to all business classes at 1.3 percent compared to their 2015 rates and to cap the impact to residential customers at 25 cents per month for the average ComEd residential customer. Ameren business and residential customers received similar protections.
The amendment already contained cost caps on key components of the legislation, including energy efficiency, the Renewable Portfolio Standard and the Zero Emission Standard. The Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee held a subject matter hearing on the latest version of the bill earlier Wednesday.
The Future Energy Jobs Bill will maintain Illinois’ competitive electric rates, preserve and create thousands of jobs and expand clean energy at a cost substantially below 25 cents per month for the average ComEd residential customer.
In addition to lowering costs, the legislation will jumpstart renewable energy development, expand aid and job training to low‐income residents and support high‐paying jobs.
The revised proposal retains important provisions to preserve 4,200 jobs at Exelon’s Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear plants, support cleaner air, create thousands of new clean energy jobs by advancing renewable energy development and providing businesses flexible options for capturing savings through expanded energy efficiency initiatives.
It also prevents the loss of $1.2 billion in economic activity generated by the plants and an estimated $10 billion in increased costs associated with higher carbon emissions that would occur if the plants close. When all of the economic impacts are calculated, benefits of the legislation far outweigh costs.
“We thank and commend Gov. Rauner and his professional staff for their focus on increasing robust customer rate protections, while maintaining the many benefits of this bill, including preserving and creating jobs and providing a shot in the arm to Illinois’ economy,” said Joe Dominguez, Exelon’s executive vice president, Governmental and Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy. “We will continue to work with legislative leaders and all policymakers today and tomorrow to enact this urgently needed legislation.”
“We have worked with many stakeholders including consumer advocates, environmentalists, community leaders, among others to ensure this bill has the best outcome for customers, our economy and our environment and the communities we serve,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO, ComEd. “We appreciate the strong bipartisan support of members of the General Assembly, the four caucus’ professional staff, the labor unions, members of the Clean Jobs Coalition and other stakeholders who have helped us shape this comprehensive energy package that will bring tremendous value to our state and our customers.”
“We also want to commend Rob Karr, president and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, for negotiating a strong package for his members,” Dominguez said.
The bill has gained broad support from more than 200 business, labor, environmental, faith‐based and other groups, including the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and Illinois Retail Merchants Association.
It also has support from members of the Clean Jobs Coalition, which includes the Citizens Utility Board, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund and others.
For more information, visit the Future Energy Jobs Bill website.
Exelon Retires 2 Illinois Nuclear Plants Early, Is Three Mile Island Next?

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