Saturday, July 15, 2017

Federal Court Dismisses Legal Challenges To Illinois Zero Emission Credit Program

The Northern Illinois Federal District Court Friday dismissed legal challenges to a Zero Emission Credit Program adopted in Illinois to help keep that state’s zero carbon emitting nuclear power plants operating.
The ZEC Program was created under the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act which also includes provisions for promoting energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy.
From the Court's summary of the case--
"The statute grants ZECs to certain qualifying energy-generating facilities. Those facilities are likely to be two nuclear power plants owned by Exelon in Illinois.
"Utilities that sell electricity to consumers must purchase ZECs from the qualifying power plants, and those utilities will pass the costs of ZECs onto their customers.
"The result is money in the coffers of Exelon from the sale of ZECs that will give it a benefit when pricing its energy in the wholesale market relative to competing energy producers that do not receive ZEC payments.
"Two sets of plaintiffs filed suit to challenge the statute. In one case, the plaintiffs, Village of Old Mill Creek, Ferrite International Company, Got It Maid, Inc., Nafisca Zotos, Robert Dillon, Richard Owens, and Robin Hawkins, are delivery services customers of Commonwealth Edison Company in Illinois.
"In the second suit, plaintiff Electric Power Supply Association is a national industry association for competitive electric power producers, and plaintiffs Calpine Corporation [who also testified against power subsidies in Pennsylvania], Dynegy Inc., Eastern Generation, LLC, and NRG Energy, Inc. are independent power producers that operate generators nationwide and provide wholesale electricity to utilities."
Click Here for a copy of the decision.
In Pennsylvania
On June 5, Exelon announced it would close its Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Dauphin County by September 30, 2019, absent needed state policy reforms.  A few days before, Exelon said TMI did not clear the most recent PJM power auction, making it the third time in a row.
In March, lawmakers formed a Senate-House Nuclear Energy Caucus Co-Chair Sen. Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster) said was to “give members of the General Assembly an opportunity to become more educated about nuclear energy’s economic and environmental value and provide another voice in other important discussions, including electric power reliability, affordability and safety.”
The other Caucus co-chairs are Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne), Rep. Becky Corbin (R-Chester) and Rep. Rob Matzie (D-Allegheny).
(Photo: Three Mile Island.)
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