Illinois Nuclear Resources
Recent Nuclear Plant Closure History
"Now in the crosshairs: Exelon’s LaSalle power station in addition to the previously identified Byron, Braidwood and Dresden plants. Two other Illinois nukes, Clinton and Quad Cities, already are benefiting from more than $200 million a year in ratepayer subsidies, enacted in the 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act."
"Exelon's five nukes in Illinois collectively this year will turn an estimated profit of $472 million, according to the report. Each of them separately will make money. Even in 2021, when revenues are slated to fall from 2019 levels, the plants together have the capability of turning a profit of about $228 million, the report says.
The reason they all won't be able to do that in 2021 is because some of them didn't qualify for payments from businesses and consumers for their promise to produce during the highest-demand days of the year."
Click here for the 2018 State of the Market Report for PJM by Joseph Bowring with Monitoring Analytics, LLC)
“The news of a potential shutdown of two of our nuclear power plants is extremely concerning to me and no doubt to the individuals and families who would be directly impacted,” said Sen. Rezin. “Not only do these facilities stimulate Illinois’ labor income and employment, but they also provide huge amounts to the local property tax base, supporting our school districts, higher education and local government. It is my hope that Exelon answers our call for a meeting so that we can begin the process of establishing a path forward.”
2018-2019 Nuclear Subsidy Litigation
Although more traditional litigation through the judicial branch appeared to run it's course in April 2019 when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear challenges to Illinois' and New York's nuclear subsidies, regulatory activity still remained important to the future of the "clean energy" subsidy debate...
In December 2019, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission handed down a ruling that involved at least some of the price floor predictions being debated in states with clean energy subsidies and nuclear plants...
The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, which is largely a coalition of advocacy groups, took a dim view of the December 2019 FERC ruling (click here for their statement); however, clean energy generators will also potentially take a position, and the late 2019 separation of Exelon from these groups (click here) means nuclear plants may try to position themselves on their own as well.
2019 Nuclear & "Clean Energy" Legislation
Senate Floor Amendment No. 2:
- Adds additional requirements concerning the obligations of alternative retail electric suppliers and alternative gas suppliers.
- Provides requirements concerning alternative retail electric and gas supplier utility assistance recipients.
- Provides additional requirements concerning alternative retail electric and gas supplier utility single billing.
- Authorizes electric utilities to disclose and furnish specified information to customers concerning supply price and electric power and energy supply rate offers.
- Provides for additional information concerning electric and gas utilities to be submitted to the Illinois Commerce Commission in specified reports.
- Provides that the utility electric supply price to compare shall be the sum of the electric supply charge and the transmission services charge and shall not include the purchased electricity adjustment.
- Provides additional requirements concerning alternative retail electric supplier and alternative gas supplier selection and solicitation of services.
Senate Floor Amendment No. 3:
- In marketing materials, requires the price to compare or utility gas supply cost rate beginning on (rather than on) the effective date of the price to compare.
- Provides that an agreement between an alternative retail electric supplier and a consumer who either received financial assistance in the last 12 months from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or, at the time of enrollment, is participating in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan is void and unenforceable.
- Requires that alternative gas suppliers submit to the Illinois Commerce Commission and the Office of the Attorney General the rates the retail gas supplier charged to residential customers in the prior year (rather than prior quarter).
- In provisions requiring alternative gas suppliers to disclose the utility gas supply cost rates per therm price to compare, requires the alternative gas supplier to disclose the date on which the utility gas supply cost rates per therm became effective and the date on which they will expire.
- Requires that certain written information provided by an alternative retail gas supplier to a customer switching from another supplier shall be provided in a language in which the customer subject to the marketing or solicitation is able to understand and communicate, and the alternative retail gas supplier shall comply with specified provisions of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.
- Makes changes in provisions concerning alternative retail gas supplier and utility assistance recipients.
House Committee Amendment No. 1:
- Authorizes the Illinois Power Agency to develop capacity procurement plans and conduct competitive procurement processes for the procurement of capacity to meet the capacity requirements of all retail customers of electric utilities that serve at least 3,000,000 retail customers in this State.
- Provides for the goal that no later than the delivery year commencing June 1, 2032, the Agency's procurement plans and processes shall include bundled clean capacity in an amount equal to 100% of the electric load measured in megawatt-hours for all retail customers of electric utilities that serve more than 3,000,000 customers in this State.
- Requires the Planning and Procurement Bureau to develop plans and processes and conduct competitive procurement events to procure capacity for all retail customers of electric utilities that serve at least 3,000,000 retail customers in this State that are located in the Applicable Fixed Resource Requirement Service Area of PJM Interconnection, LLC.
- Establishes requirements for procurement of contracts for capacity by the Illinois Power Agency for electric utilities serving at least 3,000,000 retail customers in this State located in the Applicable Fixed Resource Requirement Service Area of PJM Interconnection, LLC.
- Provides additional findings that the Illinois Commerce Commission must make in granting an application for a certificate of service authority for alternative retail electric suppliers and alternative gas suppliers.
- Provides additional requirements for an alternative retail electric supplier or alternative gas supplier to comply with when marketing, offering, and providing products or services to residential and small commercial retail customers.
- Makes changes concerning rates that may be charged by an alternative retail electric supplier, alternative gas supplier, or electric utility or gas utility other than the utility in whose service area a retail customer is located to a customer at the beginning of a contract term or for any renewal term.
- Provides that the Commission may require an alternative retail electric supplier or alternative gas supplier to enter into a compliance plan if the Commission concludes that an alternative retail electric supplier is violating the Act or the Commission's rules.
- Provides that any person or entity licensed to engage in the procurement or sale of retail electricity supply for third parties must disclose to each customer the amount of the compensation being charged by the agent, broker, or consultant.
- Contains provisions concerning alternative retail electric supplier and alternative gas supplier utility assistance recipients; variable gas rate contracts; and expanded use of energy savings programs.
- Effective immediately.
Senate Committee Amendment No. 1:
- Creates the Clean Jobs Workforce Hubs Act, the Expanding Clean Energy Entrepreneurship Act, the Community Energy and Climate Planning Act, and the Clean Energy Empowerment Zones Act to reduce emissions, promote renewable energy sources, improve energy efficiency, and reduce carbon pollution related to transportation.
- Requires the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to administer a program to increase employment opportunities related to clean energy projects. Provides for the creation of a clean jobs curriculum to increase workforce skills.
- Provides for the promotion of opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses in clean energy development. Establishes a framework to achieve 100% reliance on renewable energy. Amends the Electric Vehicle Act, the Illinois Power Agency Act, the School Code, the Public Utilities Act, and the Environmental Protection Act to make changes to implement the new programs.
- Repeals the Kyoto Protocol Act of 1998.
- Effective immediately.
Synopsis as Introduced:
- Amends the Illinois Enterprise Zone Act to provide that a business that intends to establish a new utility-scale solar power facility may apply for a high impact business designation.
- Amends the Illinois Power Agency Act to increase the long-term renewable procurement plan goals after the 2025 delivery year.
- Requires the long-term renewable procurement plan to include the procurement of new renewable energy credits.
- Provides that the Adjustable Block program shall be designed to be continuously open.
- Authorizes utilities to recover certain costs related to the Adjustable Block program.
- Excludes certain costs from a limitation on the costs of the Adjustable Block program.
- Amends the Public Utilities Act to require the Illinois Commerce Commission to open a proceeding to update the interconnection standards and applicable utility tariffs.
- Requires the Commission to revise certain standards for interconnection based on specified criteria.
- Establishes an interconnection working group.
- Makes changes to provisions concerning net metering and the distributed generation rebate.
- Requires the Commission, in consultation with the Illinois Power Agency, to study and produce a report analyzing the potential for and barriers to the implementation of energy storage in Illinois.
- Requires the Agency to include a plan to procure energy from energy storage resources as part of its procurement plan for 2021.
- Extends a provision concerning a review, reconciliation, and true-up associated with renewable energy resources' collections and costs.
- Effective immediately.
Senate Committee Amendment No. 1:
- Provides that renewable energy credits procured from new wind projects and new utility-scale solar projects pursuant to Illinois Power Agency procurement events occurring after this amendatory Act must be from facilities built by contractors that must enter into a project labor agreement prior to construction.
- Provides that a copy of the project labor agreement shall be filed with the Agency. Defines "contractor" and "project labor agreement".
House Floor Amendment No. 1:
- Requires the Illinois Power Agency and the Illinois Commerce Commission to include sourcing agreements covering power produced by clean coal facilities in each annual power procurement plan.
- Provides that the Agency and Commission shall require utilities and the alternate retail electric suppliers to enter into sourcing agreements as part of the annual power procurement process.
- Requires the Agency and Commission to establish a competitive procedure to solicit and receive proposed sourcing terms from producers of clean coal power interested in selection for sourcing agreements, which procedure shall include a method of selection for inclusion in those agreements.
- Provides that the sourcing agreements shall be subject to specified provisions.
- Provides that the owners of clean coal facilities may offer proposals to the Agency sourcing agreements with utilities and alternate retail electric suppliers required to comply with specified provisions.
- Provides for the establishment of specified sourcing agreement contract prices.
- Provides that the sourcing agreements shall be included under and governed by provisions of the Public Utilities Act.
Illinois Energy Regulation
"In PJM, capacity is largely procured through the PJM‐organized capacity market, the Reliability Pricing Model (“RPM”), which was approved by FERC in December 2006. In 2015, PJM implemented changes to the RPM construct, which established a Capacity Performance product. RPM is a forward capacity auction through which generators offer capacity to serve the obligations of load‐serving entities. The primary capacity auctions, Base Residual Auctions (“BRAs”), are held each May, three years prior to the commitment period. In the RPM construct, the commitment period is referred to as a “Delivery Year”. In this Plan, “Delivery Year” is also used in relation to all capacity and energy procurements. In addition to the BRAs, up to three incremental auctions are held, at intervals of 20, 10, and 3 months prior to the Delivery Year. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Incremental Auctions are conducted to allow for replacement resource procurement, increases and decreases in resource commitments due to reliability requirement adjustments, and deferred short‐term resource procurement. A Conditional Incremental Auction may be conducted, if and when necessary, to secure commitments of additional capacity to address reliability criteria violations arising from the delay of a backbone transmission upgrade that was modeled in the BRA.
A recent regulatory action could significantly change PJM’s RPM. In an order issued on June 29 2018, FERC ruled that an important component of PJM’s RPM, the Minimum Offer Price Rule (“MOPR”), was unjust and unreasonable because it does not address the impact of subsidized existing resources on the capacity market. FERC noted that resources that receive out‐of‐market payments in PJM’s capacity markets cause price suppression."Illinois Power Agency 2019 Electricity Procurement Plan Section 5.2.1, pages 50-52
Energy regulation interest groups involve more than "green" or "clean" energy versus coal, and may also be influenced by conversations involving the impact of various uses of energy.