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Coal collapse, clean energy boom spell end for Illinois coal plants

March 03, 2021

Natural Resources Defense Council:

Consumers would likely benefit if Illinois’ Prairie State Energy Campus (“PSEC”) coal plant closed, according to a new report by independent energy think tank RMI.

The report’s findings align with studies by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis which found that customers of Prairie State coal plant “pay far above market price for electricity” and that the plant has been “a financial disaster” for other communities that buy its power. 

The poor economics of the Prairie State plant reflect national trends: the sharp decline in coal generation and the rapidly falling prices of clean energy.

Generation from coal power plants has fallen by nearly half nationwide since its peak in 2010. In 2009, 23 coal plants operated in Illinois—today only 11 remain, with five of those slated for closure in the next few years. Coal-fired electricity generation in Illinois fell by more than two-thirds between 2010 and 2020. 

[J.C. Kibbey]

More: Consumers Win If Illinois’ Prairie State Coal Plant Closes

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