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New Illinois clean energy legislation sets 2045 retirement date for Prairie State coal plant

September 16, 2021

Source ($): S&P Global Market Intelligence

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law sweeping energy legislation Sept. 15 that includes financial support for the state’s nuclear plants and provides incentives to transition the state to cleaner energy.

The Illinois Senate voted 37-17 on Sept. 13 to approve an amended version of S.B. 2408, a massive energy bill that includes nearly $700 million in subsidies over five years for Exelon Corp.’s 2,346-MW Byron, 1,805-MW Dresden and 2,384-MW Braidwood nuclear plants.

The nearly 1,000-page bill, amended and approved late Sept. 9 by the Illinois House of Representatives, is full of provisions and regulations outside of support for the nuclear fleet. S.B. 2408 is designed to transition Illinois to 50% renewable energy by 2040 and 100% clean energy by 2050 by reducing emissions and supporting electrification.

Specifically, the bill calls for the 1,630-MW coal-fired Prairie State Energy Campus and all “public” greenhouse gas emitting units to reduce their carbon emissions by 45% no later than Jan. 1, 2035, and “permanently reduce” carbon emissions to zero no later than Dec. 31, 2045. If the initial emissions reduction requirement is not met by the 2035 deadline, “the plant shall retire one or more units or otherwise reduce its [carbon] emissions by 45% from existing emissions by June 30, 2038.”

The bill calls for privately owned units that “use coal or oil as a fuel” to eliminate carbon emissions by Jan. 1, 2030.

The state’s gas-fired and cogeneration power plants must reach zero emissions by 2045.

[Darren Sweeney]

More ($): Illinois governor signs sweeping energy bill with nuke subsidies

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