Jessica Collingsworth

Policy analyst, Clean Energy

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Jessica Collingsworth is an energy policy analyst with expertise in state-level policies that curb global warming emissions through greater use of renewable energy and energy efficiency. See Jessica's full bio.

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Photo: UniEnergy Technologies/Wikimedia

What’s New with NextGrid?

Last year, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) launched NextGrid,  a collaboration between key stakeholders to create a shared base of information on electric utility industry issues and opportunities around grid modernization. NextGrid is the Illinois Utility of the Future Study, which is being managed by the University of Illinois and consists of seven working groups comprised of subject matter experts, utilities, business interests, and environmental organizations. The Union of Concerned Scientists is a member of two of these working groups.

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Now That Xcel Won’t Get Its Nuclear Bill, What’s Next?

The fate of Xcel’s nuclear plants is largely unknown. Read more >

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Photo: justice.gov

Coal-burning Dynegy Wants a Handout. Will Illinois Give It to Them?

Last week marked the end of the Illinois General Assembly’s 2017 veto session. Fortunately, Dynegy failed in its latest attempt to have the legislature bail out several of its coal plants in central and southern Illinois at the expense of local ratepayers. Read more >

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Installing solar panels in PA
Photo: used with permission from publicsource.org

Illinois is Expanding Solar Access to Low-Income Communities—But It Didn’t Happen Without a Fight

When the Future Energy Jobs Bill (FEJA) passed the Illinois General Assembly and was later approved by Governor Rauner in early December last year, a key component of the legislation was to expand solar access for low-income communities. To get a feeling for how the legislation came about, I caught up with Naomi Davis, president and founder of the Chicago-based non-profit Blacks in Green (BIG). She has been on the front lines of developing this innovative program and is excited to finally see it coming together. Read more >

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Photo: UCS

Missing from the President’s Iowa Speech: Praise for Wind Energy

President Trump came to Cedar Rapids, Iowa last week for a rally and talked about putting solar panels on his border wall (even though there are 68.4 million better places for solar). Perhaps even more outrageous was how he bashed the wind industry that has invested nearly $14 billion in the state, and that employs thousands of workers in the operations, maintenance, construction, and manufacturing sectors. In 2016 alone, the industry supported over 8,000 direct and indirect jobs  in Iowa.

He also stated “we’re going to be strong for the future”. Well, Mr. President, we, and Iowans in particular, are going to be strong because of the growth of wind energy, not despite of it. Let’s look at all the ways Trump’s comments on wind are misinformed. Read more >

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