The 1,600 MW Prairie State Energy Campus (PSEC) is the largest greenhouse gas emitter in Illinois. It is also less than 10 years old, making it one of the newest coal plants in the country.
Using publicly available information, RMI evaluated historic economics of PSEC and analyzed future scenarios to determine how continued PSEC operations will compare to market and clean energy solutions in 2029.
The analysis finds that over the past four years, the plant cost $20 million more per year to operate than short-term market energy and capacity purchases. When the cost of servicing PSEC’s debt is considered, the plant cost an average of between $390 million and $470 million more than buying from the market.
The report analyzed future plant economics compared with market and clean energy alternatives and concluded that plant net economics are likely to deteriorate prior to 2030.
The RMI analysis suggests that at the very least, 2030 closure of PSEC (as has been proposed in the Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act) will not result in any significant rate increases to PSEC owners. In fact, 2030-mandated closure may help extricate the many plant owners from an asset which is currently expensive and may become highly uneconomic in the coming years.