Pritzker says he’ll sign Illinois clean energy deal, with fate of Byron nuclear plant in the balance

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — With the September 13th deadline to save the Byron nuclear plant quickly approaching, Gov. JB Pritzker said Thursday he approves of the latest energy compromise package and will sign it if legislators advance the bill.

“I would like to thank Speaker Welch and Leader Evans for their collaborative leadership in reaching a compromise amendment that puts consumers and climate first, while protecting and creating jobs. I look forward to this amendment advancing in the House and Senate and making its way to my desk where I will sign this historic agreement into law,” Pritzker said.

The plan would provide a $700 million bail out for Exelon’s Byron nuclear plant as well as the Dresden plant in Morris.

The Byron plant is scheduled to shut down Monday, Sept. 13 and the Dresden plant in November if the legislation is not passed by the end of the week. Exelon has said the Byron station cannot be refueled after Monday.

The proposal aims to put one million electric vehicles on Illinois roads over the next nine years, and to transition the sixth largest state in the nation to a 100% clean energy sector by 2050. The plan would shutter private, for-profit coal powered plants that generate more than 25 megawatts of electric generating units by 2030, and it would close down municipally-owned coal-fired power plants and natural gas power plants by a deadline of 2045.

The package includes $280.5 million in grants for the ‘Coal to Solar Energy Storage Initiative Fund,’ $203 million in annual grants for various wind, solar, and clean jobs initiatives, $140 million for the ‘Energy Transition Assistance Fund,’ $14 million in new annual spending for regulatory agencies, and it allows the state to spend $10 million each year on purchasing electric vehicles to upgrade the government fleet.

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