Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Exelon: Illinois House Takes Action To Support Nuclear Power Plants In Energy Jobs Bill

Exelon Generation and ComEd Tuesday announced significant progress toward achieving a streamlined version of the Future Energy Jobs Bill that will reduce costs and preserves 4,200 jobs at Exelon’s Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear plants and create thousands of new clean energy jobs by advancing renewable energy development and expanding energy efficiency programs.
Exelon announced in June the Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear plants would be closed in 2017 and 2018 respectively without support from the state.
The bill was introduced and conditionally passed by a 9 to 1 vote at last week’s Illinois House Energy Committee hearing.
The changes also reflect feedback received from the governor’s office, legislative staff and through continuing discussions and collaboration among environmental groups, renewable energy developers, faith organizations, consumer advocates, business groups, utilities, community leaders, policymakers and legislative staff, among others.
Though the legislation continues to be refined, proposed changes include:
-- Eliminating the demand based rates provision
-- Eliminating the Fixed Resource Adequacy Plan, or FRAP, but reserving for discussion a proposal to achieve a solution sometime in the near future
-- Ensuring that the Zero Emissions Standard proposal will preserve Exelon’s Illinois nuclear plants for at least 10 years and include even stronger consumer protections
-- Reducing the number of proposed microgrids from five to three
-- Expanding rebates for community solar, and commercial and industrial solar installations
ComEd and Exelon continue to address in earnest an open item of concern among some business community members about the impacts this legislation will have on competitive rates in Illinois.
“We have said from the beginning that we wanted the Future Energy Jobs Bill to bring diverse ideas and constituents together to arrive at a comprehensive plan to address the state’s complex energy and economic challenges,” said Joe Dominguez, Exelon’s executive vice president, Governmental and Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy. “In the past week, we have heard from groups and individuals representing a broad cross-section of interests. We have listened to what they had to say and have made changes to the bill based on their input. The proposals emerging today will strengthen Illinois’ commitment to clean energy, deliver billions of dollars in savings from energy efficiency, provide needed support for low-income residents, retain $1.2 billion in economic activity associated with the Quad Cities and Clinton nuclear plants and create thousands of jobs to support our economy.”
“We have been working for more than a year and a half on this legislation with stakeholders representing government, environment, consumers, communities and businesses,” said Fidel Marquez, senior vice president, government and external affairs, ComEd. “We have listened and heard the issues presented at the recent hearing and worked with staff to make revisions to the bill so that it is better for everyone. We’re encouraged by the progress we have made toward achieving a clean, reliable and affordable energy future for our customers. We look forward to continuing this work so that we can deliver innovative solutions that bring value to our customers, state, business community and environment.”
The legislation will continue to undergo revisions prior to the start of the Veto session, which begins November 29.
For more information on the Illinois action, visit the Future Energy Jobs Bill website.
Information on Pennsylvania’s response to climate change is available on DEP’s Climate Change webpage.
For more information on coming changes to federal environmental and climate policy, visit the PA Environment - The Feds blog.
Related Stories:
Exelon Retires 2 Illinois Nuclear Plants Early, Is Three Mile Island Next?

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