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State senate still has yet to strike a deal to save Byron nuclear plant

Exelon says plant will close as planned without ‘quick passage of legislation’

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Senate failed to come up with a Clean Energy Bill this week, with environmentalists and labor leaders far apart on the negotiations.

That means the future of the Byron Generating Station is still up in the air.

“We are disappointed that a comprehensive climate and energy bill that would preserve Illinois’ largest source of clean energy failed to pass, paradoxically putting at risk the clean air and jobs goals that all policymakers rightfully agree are critical to our state,” Paul Adams, senior manager, corporate communications with Exelon, said. “We are mindful and appreciative of efforts by environmentalists and labor leaders to continue negotiating on the remaining issues and we hope that legislative leaders are right in expressing optimism that this stalemate may be resolved in time to preserve Illinois’ nuclear fleet. Absent quick passage of legislation, Exelon has no choice but to proceed with retiring Byron in September and Dresden in November, as previously announced.”

Exelon Generation announced on Aug. 27, 2020 that it intends to retire its Byron Generating Station and Dresden Generating Station in fall 2021.

Byron will close in September 2021. That would mean not only the loss of about 700 jobs, but it will also mean the loss of millions of dollars in taxes locally.

Paul Dempsey, communications manager of the Byron station, said that the station’s 2017 tax bill was more than $38 million. The taxes went to a variety of taxing bodies, including the Byron School District, Ogle County and the Byron Museum and Library District.

Gov. JB Pritzker has called for legislation that includes nearly $700 in subsidies over five years for the nuclear plants.

According to published reports, Senate President Don Harmon has expressed confidence that the Senate will get a deal done on a bill.

Source:  Rochelle News Leader