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Working Group Reachs Deadlock, Illinois Clean Energy Future Heads to Governor and Congress – pv Magazine USA

With the state’s deadlocked solar industry watching from a distance, malicious accusations to negotiate a goalpost move were central to the stage.

Another pothole has emerged on the road to comprehensive energy legislation in Illinois. The Illinois Clean Jobs Union (ICJC) and the Illinois Climate Jobs (CJI), respectively, have notified the Legislature of two politically powerful groups representing the environment and organized labor interests. Said Governor JB Pritzker, who could not reach a compromise on the clean energy bill.

The two sides could not reach an agreement, so now is the time for Pritzker and the Legislature to take the lead.

Byron Nuclear Power Station in Ogle County, Illinois. Image: Christopher Peterson, Wikimedia Commons

Independently But Similar charactersThe two groups outline that the deadlock is centered around what to do with three nuclear power plants, which are considered the short-term steps needed to bring Illinois up and running. Track to achieve climate, clean energy and employment goals. There are also concerns about which generation will be replaced if two nuclear power plants are closed, especially on the dates of coal and gas power plant closures.

As expected, environmental groups want coal and gas plants to shut down as soon as possible, and significant pollution reduction measures must be taken on existing and future plants until their decommissioning dates are reached. In a previous compromise, the two groups agreed on a broad decommissioning date of 2035 for coal-fired power plants and 2045 for gas-fired power plants, with two specific coal-fired power plants having 90% carbon. We have agreed to extend it until 2045 as long as the recovery is achieved. By 2035.

Union representatives want to ensure that the workers they represent do not lose their jobs or run out of future opportunities. The group’s letter acknowledges the threat of climate change and the potential for large-scale employment that has expanded its commitment to renewable energy, but is concerned about unemployment shortly after the closure. The letter also accuses ICJC of not negotiating in good faith.

Since this issue is currently being assembled, the closure of two nuclear power plants could result in the loss of thousands of jobs after the plant closure and the replacement of capacity disconnected from the grid with most fossil fuel production. Will result in unhappiness for both parties.

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Illinois Governor JB Pritzker Image: Wikimedia Commons

of Reply to CJIPritzker accused the union representative of shifting the goal post through negotiations and not negotiating in good faith. Pritzker referred to the allegations made in the ICJC letter, and the compromise proposed by CJI was that of the community itself, which stated that the Climate Jobs Illinois letter wanted to keep the dirty power plant open forever. It will threaten health and welfare. “

In addition, a generally agreed framework is already in place to keep the three nuclear power plants open. The agreement was reached in the spring to split the $ 700 million surcharge into bills for all payers and fund the plant for five years, increasing average consumer bills by 80 cents each month. Is estimated to be. This can be complicated once a federal infrastructure bill, including support for nuclear power plants, is passed, but at this point it is ready for success.

What does this mean for Solar?

Delays in reaching comprehensive energy legislation in Illinois have a real-time negative impact on the essentially stagnant state’s solar energy industry due to lack of incentive funding. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, when funds ran out at the end of 2020, companies were unable to undertake new projects, resulting in the state’s solar energy industry losing about 3,500 jobs so far. This incentive-related job loss was essentially piled up on the tens of thousands of solar jobs lost nationwide in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prior to that time, Illinois was experiencing a PV boom to meet its 2008 RPS goal of requiring utilities to source 25% of their electricity from renewables by 2025. Was getting the state on track. Development, progress towards that number is hanging out of reach.

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