Recent News

By Month

See all

E&E News: Ill. governor unveils 100% renewable plan

Posted by Jeffrey Tomich on Aug 24, 2020

E&E News reported Illinois Gov. Pritzker announced a proposal to increase clean energy while improving utility accountability and customer rates, quoting AEE's Jeff Dennis. Read excerpts below and the entire E&E News piece here (sub. req.). 

Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker laid out an ambitious energy proposal Friday aimed at tackling climate change while also improving utility affordability and accountability. One pillar of Pritzker's sweeping plan would put Illinois on a trajectory to power the state with 100% renewable energy by midcentury and phase out polluting power plants by adding a price on carbon emissions. The 13-page statement of principles builds on the governor's call earlier this year for legislators to pass clean energy legislation this spring — an agenda derailed by the novel coronavirus pandemic...

The plan recommends strengthening ethics laws and warns against crafting energy policy "behind closed doors," responding directly to the unfolding bribery scandal involving the state's largest utility, Commonwealth Edison...

The plan leaves many details to be ironed out. But it calls for scrapping a push by utility giant Exelon Corp. and a coalition of environmental groups to leave the capacity market run by PJM Interconnection LLC, the largest U.S. grid operator. Rather, the governor advocates for a "market-based program" that favors carbon-free electricity. PJM typically runs an annual auction to procure capacity — insurance that power plants will be available to run during peak hours of the year...

Jeff Dennis, managing director and general counsel for Advanced Energy Economy, said a carbon price can be an effective solution to clean up the grid and help improve the investment climate for advanced energy resources like renewables and battery storage. But that's only true if it's reinforced by other policies. "A carbon price is among many tools states can use," he said. "It works really well in a regional competitive market structure."

Along the same lines, Dennis said AEE members oppose FERC's minimum offer price rule but "are urging states to look at all of the options" before abandoning the PJM capacity market in favor of procuring their own capacity.

While environmental and consumer groups, as well as the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, praised Pritzker for seeking to lessen Exelon's influence over energy policy, the governor's push to expand renewable energy got some resistance from the state's other big utility, Ameren Illinois, which serves much of the rural southern half of the state...

Read the entire E&E News piece here (sub. req.). 

Topics: AEE In The News