Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Who really benefits from "fixing" the Illinois RPS with SB 103?

There are some things in Illinois I will never understand.  One thing I will never understand is why is everything wrong about Illinois’ energy is always ComEd’s fault.

Energy prices are high.  It’s ComEd’s fault.

The state’s reverse auction didn’t go as plan. d ComEd’s is blamed. 

People leave ComEd through aggregation and chose their own power company.  It’s ComEd’s fault.

Now wind companies aren’t able to gouge consumers because cities are leaving ComEd and the high priced wind energy purchased by Governor Quinn and his 20 year Power Purchasing Agreements and guess who is blamed.  Yep.  ComEd. 

There was a fascinating article in Midwest Energy News today.  Like I explained before here, Illinois residents are leaving ComEd in droves for Alternate Energy Retail Supply through aggregation.  Illinois laws were written where only ComEd and Ameren were named specifically and as only the companies required to purchase renewable energy from the Illinois Power Agency.  ComEd’s price for this energy is over $55/MWH.  The current cash price is more like $30-$35 dollars. 

Governor Quinn lobbied hard for the Illinois Power Agency to sign these 20 year agreements.  Because Alternate Energy Retail Suppliers are exempt from paying this high price for energy, they can supply energy for prices much-much lower than ComEd.   Yes, ComEd is getting screwed by Governor Quinn and his deals FOR the wind industry.  Governor Quinn WANTS Illinois residents to pay more for energy.

The “fix” now recommended Governor Quinn and his friends in the wind industry is to require all Alternate Energy Retail Suppliers to purchase the high priced wind energy from the Illinois Power Agency.  Now I understand why the Governor is lobbying for the wind industry.  They don’t call Illinois the “Pay-to-Play State” for nothing.  (It should be the state’s license plate motto.)

What I don’t understand is why the Midwest Energy News article blames ComEd again for not wanting to join the wind industry and Governor Quinn for this “fix” to the Illinois Renewable Portfolio Standard.  The author fails to explain what does ComEd gain by losing customers.  I understand why customers like aggregation.  It’s been hugely successful to allow Illinois residents to CHOOSE FOR THEMSELVES, but these ratepayers are moving away from ComEd for economically priced energy. 

To me it would make sense for ComEd to support the “fix” recommended by the wind industry.  At least ComEd would be competitive with other energy supplier where all buy the high priced energy from the Governor’s buddies at the wind industry.

The claim by the Clean Energy Trust where Illinois residents want to pay more for “clean” energy is laughable when Illinois residents left ComEd because the wind energy cost too much.

As someone in Springfield has explained to me, aggregation has been hugely popular with Illinois residents.  Politicians aren’t about to tamper with the program that has brought consumers economically priced energy.  Aggregation would be expanded to other forms of energy before it would be limited.  From what I can gather, Michael Madigan, the majority leader in Springfield, also understands the importance of economically priced energy.  Why did he oppose closing the Midwest Energy coal plants in Chicago?  Probably because he understood the alternative was going to cost more.  It was only when the price of coal climbed and the alternatives were more economical did he support closing the old coal generators.  Economically priced energy is better than expensive energy.  Yes, I thing SB 103 is dead.

The Midwest Energy News article also points out something I missed earlier.  Aggregation has neutered Illinois’ Renewable Portfolio Standard.  Illinois residents don’t need a cap or freeze on the RPS.  We already have it.  Like Mark Pruitt said “Right now we’re pretty much frozen.” 

States like Kanas have considered repealing their RPS.  As it stands now, Illinois effectively has repealed the RPS.  Maybe this is what ComEd supports.  If it is, I’d have to agree with them.  Wind energy should compete in an open market without sweetheart deals negotiated by the governor.


  1. I guess I am saying it's time for Governor Quinn and his friends in the wind industry quit "blame ComEd" and get serious about economically priced energy. If wind can provide energy cheaper than Exelon, then great, but the "blame ComEd " thing is about aa lame as President Obama's "Blame Bush" policy.

  2. "when Illinois residents left ComEd because the wind energy cost too much."

    a bold faced lie and you know it. ComEd is expensive because (1) IPA locked they and Ameren into long term energy contracts more expensive than the current market and (2) because their 6 nuke plans are enormously expensive to keep running

    hey, remember when ComEd promised us all cheap cheap energy from nuke plants?

    uh, yeah, not so much.