* Steve Daniels at Crain’s…
When Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation bailing out two money-losing nuclear power plants, operators of Illinois coal- and natural gas-fired facilities promised to take the state to court.
A group of competitors of Chicago-based nuclear giant Exelon filed a lawsuit in federal court in Chicago today to stop the ratepayer-funded bailout from going forward.
They include Houston-based Dynegy, the second-largest generator in Illinois after Exelon and dominant player downstate, and Princeton, N.J.-based NRG Energy, which operates coal and gas plants in northern Illinois. […]
In the lawsuit, the competitors allege the subsidies undermine wholesale power markets that are the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government via the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). They challenge the law on jurisdictional and constitutional grounds.
The competitors say the law unfairly tilts the playing field in Exelon’s favor, keeping open two plants that otherwise had announced they would close.
The lawsuit is here.
“It will profoundly disrupt the FERC-approved energy market auction structure and result in the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars a year of ratepayer funds to Exelon at the expense of other generators that would have been economically viable without discriminatory subsidies,” the lawsuit stated.
Exelon contends the legislation provides it similar mechanisms that have aided renewable energy development for years.
“Exelon opposes misguided and parochial efforts to block state lawmakers from taking legitimate steps to protect the environment and promote sound economic policies for their citizens,” Exelon said in a statement Tuesday. […]
The plan, to go into effect in June, would cost 3.1 million northern Illinois customers of Exelon’s power-distributing subsidiary, ComEd, an average of 25 cents more per month during the life of the plan. In central and southern Illinois, Ameren’s 1.2 million customers would pay an additional 12 cents or less monthly, the company said.
* And this is from the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition…
“This lawsuit will not stop Illinois from implementing the biggest clean energy breakthrough in its history, which will create tens of thousands of new jobs across Illinois, save customers billions on their electric bills, and make Illinois a national leader in the clean energy economy. Solar and wind energy are already out competing fossil fuels and energy efficiency is the cheapest energy resource to help lower demand and monthly bills while cutting harmful pollution. Today’s lawsuit suggests that big polluting industries would rather shackle Illinoisans to higher costs and dangerous fuels of the past rather than invest in Illinois’ bright clean energy future.”