Gov. Pritzker Urges Collaboration in Pursuing Clean Energy Goals

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Illinois Gov. Jay Robert “J.B.” Pritzker addressed stakeholders at the PJM General Session with a call for diverse parties to collaborate on a clean energy future.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Affirming Illinois’ role as a continuing participant in PJM’s competitive energy markets and stakeholder community, Pritzker said Illinois shares PJM’s common vision for competition, transparency, collaboration and partnership amid the dynamic forces shaping the rapid evolution of the grid.

“Systems transform faster when all their players and parts are willing to move, so it’s important that we work together to move toward an ethical, affordable, clean and renewable energy economy as soon as we can,” said Pritzker. “I believe that collaboration is the best way to get big things done.”

Pritzker’s remarks kicked off this year’s General Session, entitled “Resource Adequacy and the Capacity Market: Framing the Future.”

PJM President and CEO Manu Asthana, in his introduction, called the diversity of interests and expertise among PJM’s more than 1,000 members and other stakeholders a “major asset” of the organization, and urged the nearly 400 meeting participants “to approach this topic as a community, thinking not just about your own interests, but also about the interests of our entire PJM      community, so that we can try and achieve an outcome that the community can embrace.”

Pritzker’s keynote speech laid out goals for carbon-free energy, transparency and ethics that were part of his recently released Eight Principles for a Clean and Renewable Illinois Economy. Priorities like these guide Illinois toward its goals of 100 percent renewable generation by 2050, he said.

Pritzker said he has rejected two proposals to implement PJM’s Fixed Resource Requirement (FRR) option, in which states can remove certain resources from the capacity market. Pritzker said the FRR in Illinois “would each increase power generator revenues without a proper accounting of the needs for these funds.”

Pritzker said there “continue to be issues” with PJM’s capacity market, and that he is interested in working with PJM, stakeholders and other states on initiatives to “advance the clean-energy economy.”

Chief among these is a price on carbon, he said.

“Illinois needs a clean energy framework that will favor non-carbon-emitting technologies,” he said. “It is my hope that PJM and MISO will work with us and other states interested in leading the pack to allow markets to be the instrument to reflect that clear desire.”

In keeping with PJM’s tradition of bringing a variety of perspectives to the General Session discussion, this year’s event featured key stakeholder groups, including investors, merchant generators, environmental advocates, consumer interests and sector-specific advocates.

Conversations like these are central to PJM’s role, said Asim Haque, PJM Vice President – State & Member Services.

“Governor Pritzker discussed his principles that will serve to try and make the state of Illinois cleaner. It’s a policy perspective that we are hearing from many states in our footprint,” Haque said. “To be fair, it’s not all of our states. But, these policy perspectives should be kept in mind as we advance our discussions.”