Illinois Governor Signs Bill to Subsidize Two Nuclear Power Plants

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By Editors of Power Engineering

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill that will provide billions of dollars to Exelon Corp. to prevent two struggling nuclear plants from closing prematurely.

The deal gives Exelon $235 million per year in order to keep the Quad Cities and Clinton nuclear power plants running for another 10 years, the Northwest Herald reported. The bill also provides millions of dollars in energy efficiency programs and assistance to low-income energy users.

Finally, the bill would cap an increase in ratepayer bills to an average of 25 cents a month to ComEd customers and 35 cents a month for Ameren users over the next 13 years, and allows for the expansion of renewable power generation.

Exelon had said it would close the Clinton Power station on June 1, 2017 and the Quad Cities Generating Station on June 1, 2018, claiming the two had lost a combined $800 million in the past seven years.

In a statement, Exelon said the bill “safeguards the state’s top source of clean energy, protects and creates thousands of jobs and strengthens the Illinois economy, while preserving competitive rates.”

Rauner said he supported the bill in order to save thousands of jobs.

“I was unwilling to gamble with these communities, gamble with thousands of good-paying jobs and gamble with our energy future,” he said in a statement. “While this legislation isn’t perfect, it allows us to protect jobs, ratepayers and taxpayers.”

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