A new study confirms a previous study by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), which found that consumers will pay more in electric bills with the slated closure of nuclear power plants in Clinton and Cordova. It is important to note that this new study was commissioned by consumers – not the power companies.
According to the study released by economists at The Brattle Group, a global consulting firm, residential customers would see their electric bills hiked to the tune of $115 million annually, while businesses would see their bills spike $249 million annually without these plants in operation. That’s an increase of $3.1 billion over the next 10 years.
State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet), who represents Clinton, says this is further proof the Legislature must pass the Future Energy Jobs legislation, Senate Bill 2814.
“This study clearly makes the case for what we’ve been saying for months, that doing nothing and allowing these plants to close will result in pain across the state,” Rose said. “This is simple first-year economics, lowering supply without decreasing demand means prices will go up. This new study confirms the results of the previous independent ICC work that concluded it’s cheaper for consumers if these nuclear plants stay open than if they close. Obviously, my area would be devastated by the loss of jobs with Clinton closing, but people outside of Clinton need to look at the bigger picture. Everyone’s power bills will go up if we do nothing and allow these plants to close.”
The Brattle Group study comes on the heels of a Midcontinent Independent Survey Operator (MISO) survey that found “a potential generational shortfall as soon as mid-2018” if the two plants closed.
This study is in line with information presented at two different meetings held by the University of Illinois this fall, one in Chicago and one in Urbana. Experts there acknowledged the potential for serious market price fluctuations with the plant closures if the legislature fails to act. At the Chicago hearing, MISO staff also noted that new transmission lines would ultimately have to be considered to be built over several years at serious costs to ratepayers to rebalance the lost supply.
“This new independent analysis now confirms and quantifies these concerns,” Rose said. “Illinois needs to plan for a future that protects our local jobs and protects our reliable, cheap energy supply. It is time to act. Failure to act will have serious consequences.”
A direct link to the Brattle Group study is here: http://www.brattle.com/system/publications/pdfs/000/005/377/original/QuadCitiesClintonNuclear-Brattle-Oct2016.pdf?1480365051