Retiring Dynegy-Vistra’s Coal Plants: Cheaper, Cleaner, and Reliable Energy for Illinoisans

May 16, 2018

Illinoisans will continue to enjoy a secure and reliable energy supply even if Dynegy-Vistra shutters its coal plants in the state, according to a new study commissioned by NRDC and the Sierra Club. The study, entitled “Analysis of the Dynegy-Vistra Coal Fleet Future Viability in MISO Zone 4 (Central and Southern Illinois),” also shows that retiring all of the Dynegy-Vistra coal fleet and transitioning to renewable resources would lower customer bills and significantly cut pollution. In a bid to guarantee more profit from its coal fleet, Dynegy-Vistra—a Texas-based energy company that owns eight coal plants in Southern and Central Illinois—wants to saddle Illinoisans with a bailout. Despite the lack of evidence, the company justifies its move by claiming the state will suffer power outages if those coal plants close.

However, a new study commissioned by NRDC and the Sierra Club and conducted by Vibrant Clean Energy (VCE) confirms that Southern and Central Illinois’s energy supply will remain secure and reliable even with the closure of Dynegy-Vistra’s coal plants. In addition, the VCE study shows that closing the plants would save Illinoisans up to $14 billion between 2020 and 2030 and reduce pollution. This is in part because the Dynegy-Vistra power plants are significantly costlier to run and dirtier than other energy resources.