FERC Decision Demonstrates Need for Swift Action on Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act

Statement from Christie Hicks, Senior Attorney and Manager, Clean Energy Regulatory Implementation

December 19, 2019
Billy Weinberg, (312) 485-4363, williambweinberg@gmail.com

(CHICAGO, IL) After more than a year awaiting a decision, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today issued an order that rewards inefficient, higher polluting power plants that can’t compete in the PJM wholesale electricity market, which spans portions of Illinois, parts of 12 other states and the District of Columbia. In Illinois alone, FERC’s decision is expected to increase consumer costs by $864 million, according to a report from Grid Strategies, LLC.

“This decision by federal regulators underscores the urgent need for members of the Illinois General Assembly and Gov. Pritzker to take swift action on the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which will lower bills for consumers, create jobs and empower Illinois to take control of its energy future. Rather than be stuck with an obsolete system imposed by out-of-state decision-makers, it’s time for to Illinois set its own course by developing an energy mix that prioritizes carbon-free resources and puts money back in the pockets of consumers.”

  • Christie Hicks, Senior Attorney and Manager, Clean Energy Regulatory Implementation

Today’s decision pertains to PJM’s capacity market, which is used to ensure there’s enough power reserves in the region to maintain reliability during extreme weather or other unplanned events. Many states within PJM have set aggressive clean energy targets, using rebates, credits and other incentives to encourage the deployment of clean energy and to compensate these resources for their environmental benefits to society.  Under the Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB2132/HB3624), the Illinois Power Agency would be put in charge of running Illinois’ own capacity auction, rather than relying on PJM’s market.

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