Library filed under Energy Policy from Illinois
Mines in the Upper Midwest, like the Knight Hawk mine in southern Illinois, produce fuel that powers much of the region's electricity production. That could change as coal plants retire and new wind and solar facilities come online.
The legislation would remove Illinois from a 13-state power grid that is expected to alter its pricing structure to favor electricity generated by fossil fuels. If Illinois lawmakers don’t approve the bill by June 1, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will raise the price that Illinois and the 12 other states pay for nuclear power, among other energy sources, so that the price for electricity produced from gas and coal remains competitive.
Some Illinois lawmakers want to rush through legislation that would change the dynamic for a plan to erect dozens of wind turbines in central Illinois. ...The measure would restrict wind farm regulations outside of a municipality to the county alone, excluding townships.
Members of the Clean Jobs Coalition who have negotiated together for many months over a massive Illinois energy bill have broken ranks after the bill’s introduction Tuesday, with some still supporting the bill, some opposing it, some hoping for pieces to be spun off and others remaining silent.
"If our problem was isolated and was natural gas, then we'd be talking about retiring 11 units, not three," Dominguez said in an interview. "It is the combination of gas prices that have lowered wholesale energy prices, and the distortive effect of congestion caused by subsidized generation that overwhelms these areas, particularly in the off-peak hours." According to Exelon, nearly 10 percent of off-peak prices, which its Midwest nuclear fleet is subject to, trade below zero -- a fact that he attributes to the penetration of wind energy.
For Springfield aldermen opposed to the 10-year-old Sierra Club deal that required the city to buy power from two wind farms, December 2018 can’t come fast enough. By then, both contracts will have expired, at which point City Water, Light and Power estimates it will have spent up to $150 million. So far, the utility has spent about $101 million. ...“There’s definitely a lesson for the future,” he said. “We have to be very, very careful when this contract comes back up. I don’t know how I could vote for it in most any form.”
The path for the energy legislation is “straight uphill,” Harmon said, especially for issues such as a low carbon portfolio standard or rate redesign, which have the “real or political potential for raising rates on consumers.” In a state in the midst of a budget crisis that would be a tough sell.
"As a matter of physics, unless a customer's residence is directly connected to a wind farm or solar panels," electricity suppliers "cannot truthfully claim that they are providing electricity generated from renewable resources," the attorney general's office is quoted as saying in the administrative law judges' proposed order in January.
It seems like we haven't learned much of anything as we continue to interfere in various energy markets. ...First, solar and wind power benefit from a production tax credit, which is simply a subsidy based on the amount of electricity produced. Coupled with various state laws that effectively force grid operators to purchase electricity from solar and wind generation whether or not it is needed, greenhouse gases may actually increase.
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. — Measures advertised as promoting "clean energy" in Illinois — including a plan pushed by power-producing giant Exelon Corp. — have stalled in the General Assembly, consumed, supporters say, by bickering over the state budget and an unsettled energy outlook.
In a phone interview, McCarter said proponents “ignore the reality” that significant costs would be passed on to end users if the state adopts a 35 percent renewable energy standard by 2030. “If we shift to 35 percent the cost is going to be outrageous,” he said. ...In Wisconsin, a state which he said has laid out a less ambitious program than what is being proposed in Illinois, researchers found the cost to consumers to be in the billions.
There are growing concerns that a bill under consideration in Springfield could dampen Illinois' status as a leader in wind energy. Senate Bill 3263 would transfer regulatory responsibilities for wind-energy permitting from counties to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, a move supporters say is needed to address inconsistencies in the state's wind-farm rules.
With abnormally high utility rates prompting municipalities to contract with alternative power suppliers, the IPA's customer base is expected to shrink by as much as two-thirds next year. It will bar more long-term deals with renewable-energy developers. That's because the higher-than-market prices that wind and solar developments require would raise rates for the remaining utility customers by more than the 2 percent limit imposed by state law.
The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama hopes it can reinvigorate the country's sluggish economy and spur job growth in part by bolstering the U.S. renewable-energy industry. Chinese companies undercut U.S. rivals on price because they get generous subsidies from the Chinese government. Under pressure from the Obama administration, China in June agreed to end many subsidies for its domestic wind-power-equipment manufacturers.
While wind turbines rotate east of Streator and Ottawa, lawmakers in Wisconsin are debating wind farm policy that could serve as a national model.
Today, state Rep. Tom McMillin of Michigan introduced a resolution (H.R. 277) urging his state's governor to withdraw Michigan from continued participation in the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord (MGGRA), an agreement among the region's governors to reduce greenhouse gases through a regional cap-and-trade program. ...nearby participating states intend to introduce similar measures in their own legislatures.
An effort in Springfield to ensure Illinois wind power developers get a cut of the 20-year contracts the state is preparing to offer for electricity generated by wind farms is dead. Talks between Exelon Corp., parent of Commonwealth Edison Co., and wind power developers ended last week without an agreement to lift Exelon's opposition to setting aside a portion of the 20-year deals for in-state wind farms.
Exelon Corp. is using its clout in Springfield to fight the Illinois wind energy industry - and winning. Opposition by the Chicago-based nuclear power giant has killed legislation to extend an expiring state law that gives preference to Illinois green energy projects as part of the state's push to purchase more electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar.
As a former chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, I am astonished at the commission's decision Dec. 28 to allow the state agency that buys electricity on behalf of utility customers to sign long-term supply contracts from wind farms at rates far more expensive than prevailing market rates. As an electricity consumer, I'm outraged that the commission endorsed this boondoggle that will use rate-payer money to subsidize an economically inefficient and high-cost scheme in the name of environmental correctness.
Kentucky Utilities Co. intends to purchase wind power from northern Illinois and will soon ask state regulators to charge home customers about a buck a month more to pay for that alternative energy. The wind power, including the cost of transmitting the electricity to Kentucky, is about twice as much as it costs KU to generate power by burning coal at power plants. To pay for the wind power, KU plans to file an application with the Kentucky Public Service Commission, requesting permission to impose a "renewable resource clause" so it can recover the costs of purchased wind power and transmission costs.