Exelon works out another deal over nuclear-plant-protecting bill in Illinois

The Exelon Generation and Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) subsidiaries of Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC) announced Nov. 30 they have reached an agreement with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on the Future Energy Jobs Bill, which has been further enhanced with additional customer protections, based on input from Rauner’s office.

The amendment, filed with legislators on Nov. 30, provides for an overall cost cap on all measures within the bill that will limit rate increases to all residential and business customers. The bill, which would protect two Exelon nuclear plants in Illinois. has gained broad support from more than 200 business, labor, environmental, faith-based and other groups.

“We thank and commend Governor Rauner and his professional staff for their focus on increasing robust customer rate protections, while maintaining the many benefits of this bill, including preserving and creating jobs and providing a shot in the arm to Illinois’ economy,” said Joe Dominguez, Exelon’s executive vice president, Governmental and Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy. “We will continue to work with legislative leaders and all policymakers today and tomorrow to enact this urgently needed legislation.”

“We have worked with many stakeholders including consumer advocates, environmentalists, community leaders, among others to ensure this bill has the best outcome for customers, our economy and our environment and the communities we serve,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO of ComEd. “We appreciate the strong bipartisan support of members of the General Assembly, the four caucus’ professional staff, the labor unions, members of the Clean Jobs Coalition and other stakeholders who have helped us shape this comprehensive energy package that will bring tremendous value to our state and our customers.”

The amendment includes protections that limit the impact of the legislation to all business classes at 1.3% compared to their 2015 rates and to cap the impact to residential customers at 25 cents per month for the average ComEd residential customer. The amendment already contained cost caps on key components of the legislation, including energy efficiency, the Renewable Portfolio Standard and the Zero Emission Standard. The Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee held a subject matter hearing on the latest version of the bill earlier on Nov. 30.

The revised proposal retains important provisions to preserve 4,200 jobs at Exelon’s Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear plants, support cleaner air, create thousands of new clean energy jobs by advancing renewable energy development and providing businesses flexible options for capturing savings through expanded energy efficiency initiatives. It also prevents the loss of $1.2 billion in economic activity generated by the nuclear plants and an estimated $10 billion in increased costs associated with higher carbon emissions that would occur if the plants close.

Exelon Generation is a power plant operations arm of Exelon, while ComEd is a transmission company in Illinois.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.