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Power pole
Ameren

Ameren Illinois has won approval from state regulators to begin construction next year on a $21 million transmission line project that will stretch across McLean County.

Cypress Creek Renewables

A solar power developer has filed applications for what would be the first three solar farms in McLean County.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Emotional testimony swept through nights three and four of the McLean County Zoning Board hearings on a proposed wind farm project.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Most of the roughly 100 towers for a proposed wind farm in the Chenoa, Gridley, and Lexington area will be 450 feet tall. That’s bigger than the average of even just a few years ago.

Staff / WGLT

Wind Farm rules gusted back into the McLean County Board room yesterday.

The county has strengthened environmental protections before allowing new wind tower projects to go forward. But, debate over the so-called text amendment to special use permit requirements also covered noise, rural quality of life, and the cost to remove wind towers.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

As Exelon seeks state help in propping up the Clinton Nuclear Plants and several Illinois reactors, the company's subsidiary, Com-Ed, has pushed for changes to electricity rates.

The idea is to charge customers based not on how much overall electricity they use, but on how much energy a household uses when demand is high.

A group of Chicago politicians have signed on to a letter with organizations including the Illinois Public Interest Research Group, opposing the plan.

Illinois American Seeking Water Rate Hike

Jan 22, 2016
Scott Robinson / Flickr via Creative Commons

Illinois American Water has filed a request for an 18 percent statewide rate increase for all of the water and sewer company's operating districts in Illinois. The request would increase the average company customer's base water and sewer service rate by $7.57 per month. The proposed increase is pending approval by the Illinois Commerce Commission. Company spokeswoman Karen Cotton says the commission's decision won't come until the end of this year. The company says the requested rate increase is driven by investments in infrastructure improvements statewide.

Staff

Efforts to restore power to those still without electricity are continuing in McLean County. Ameren Illinois estimates 6,800 customers remain powerless following the wind and ice storm, which knocked down trees and power lines throughout the county. That's 12% of Ameren's total McLean County customer base.

Many customers are reporting they've been told by Ameren it may be as late as 10 P.M. before the lights are back on.

Exelon Corp. says it will wait a year to decide if it will close its nuclear plant near Clinton, Illinois. Exelon owns Illinois' 11 nuclear reactors. Plant spokesman Brett Nauman says an industry group that arranges power purchases for southern Illinois has agreed to re-think its business practices.

Nauman says the Clinton plant has lost 350 million dollars in the last six years because of low natural gas prices.

Nauman says the industry group decision on market reform does not lessen the legislative push.

The CEO of Commonwealth Edison says the utility is continuing to push for changes that failed to win legislative approval in the spring. Anne Pramaggiore told an audience at the City Club of Chicago that a 20-11 so-called "smart grid" law has led to savings and a more reliable power network. But she says further improvements -- like microgrids that can keep electricity flowing when there's an outage, and charging stations for electric cars -- depends on help from Springfield.