How the Exelon Bailout Will Hurt Illinois

Exelon’s bailout bill (SB 2814) includes a statewide subsidy for the company’s Illinois nuclear plants that bill hurts electric consumers and holds back energy innovation. Details are below. 

NUCLEAR BAILOUT

·         Growing Surplus Power – in 2015, Illinois generated 40.7% more power than we needed (Generated 193.5 million megawatt hours; used 137.5 million mwh) – (Source: EIA)

·         Declining Demand – Because of increasing efficiency and a declining industrial base, Illinois demand shrunk 3.8% since 2011 and 5.8% since 2015. (Source: EIA)

·         Subsidizing Our Neighbors - If we subsidize nuclear plants in Illinois, Illinois ratepayers will effectively be paying more so that ratepayers in other states that use our surplus power will pay less.

·         Plants Not Needed for Reliability – The PJM Grid operator that contains ComEd has already studied whether the Quad Cities nuclear plant was needed. They concluded it was not. (Source: PJM)

·         Prices Will Not Rise – Exelon cites the 1146 Reports generated by the state to make an argument that electric prices will increase if we don’t subsidize their nuclear plants. But the key assumptions in that 2014 report all proved to be wrong. (Source: 1146 Reports)

o   Demand is shrinking, not rising as was predicted

o   Natural gas prices continue to fall. The report assumed 2019 natural gas prices would be from $4.79 (PJM analysis) to $7.65 (MISO). But 2019 natural gas contracts are available for $2.85 or less.

·         Subsidies Will Continue in Perpetuity – Because demand is declining, subsidies will be needed as long as plants are expected to remain open. Exelon has already hinted that further subsidies will be needed for other nuclear plants.