Illinois can do without Vistra coal plants, greens claim
Dynegy said before it completed the merger with Vistra that nuclear subsidies passed by Illinois lawmakers in 2017 had made some of its Illinois coal plants unprofitable, and said it was considering closing down some capacity. Now with the merger complete, the consolidated company believes it needs assistance to keep the plants running — or run the risk of reliability issues in southern Illinois.
Vibrant’s report points to Illinois Senate Bill 2250 (House Bill 4141), which it says “would effectively provide subsidies for the 8 Dynegy-Vistra coal plants in Central and Southern Illinois.”
But the plants are not needed, the report maintains. All could retire by 2025, “and central and southern Illinois would still have enough electricity to keep the lights on,” it concludes.
In addition, because the coal plants are “costlier and dirtier to run than almost any other energy resource, replacing the plants with wind and solar power would lead to lower electricity costs.”
Relative to 2017 prices, switching off the plants could save customers between $12 billion and $14 billion between 2018 and 2030, the report concludes.