Jessica Collingsworth

Policy analyst, Clean Energy

Author image
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.

Subscribe to Jessica's posts

Jessica's Latest Posts

Photo: PDTillman/Wikimedia Commons

Del hollín a la energía solar

A pesar de los avances en energías renovables, muchas plantas de carbón siguen operando en Illinois. Entre más rápido el estado logre cerrar las plantas sucias de carbón, mayores serán los beneficios. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Photo: Karen Long MacLeod/CPLC

New Report Has Bad News for Illinois Coal Plants: It’s Time to Go

In 2016 Illinois extended its clean energy leadership with the passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act. The law strengthened Illinois’s renewable energy and energy efficiency targets, created the state’s first community solar program, and launched the Illinois Solar for All program. Under FEJA, solar capacity in Illinois is expected to grow from 90 megawatts to more than 3000 megawatts in the next decade.

Yet, many coal-fired power plants continue to operate in Illinois, and coal plant owner Dynegy-Vistra is seeking state subsidies and easing of pollution standards to keep their plants open and profitable. Read more >

Photo: Karen Long MacLeod/CPLC
Bookmark and Share

Old coal-burning power plants have the greatest emissions per energy delivered. Photo: snowpeak/Wikimedia Commons

Why Would Illinois Want More Pollution from Coal Power?

Changes to an important state air pollution standard are being considered by the Illinois Pollution Control Board this summer. My colleagues and I found striking differences among the Dynegy plants that would be affected by the proposed rule change to be decided on as soon as Thursday August 23. Under the current Illinois Multi-Pollutant Standard (MPS), the Dynegy coal plants that cause the most harm to Illinois residents are the ones more likely to be closed or be upgraded with air pollution control technology. But if the Pollution Control Board adopts Dynegy’s proposal to change how state air pollution limits are calculated, it could result in the company closing its cleaner plants and keeping its dirtiest plants open because it would no longer need the cleanest plants in its fleet to comply with the state requirements. My colleague James Gignac, lead analyst in the Midwest Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), further reflects on the impacts of the proposed change to the MPS, below. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

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.

Read more >

Photo: UniEnergy Technologies/Wikimedia
Bookmark and Share

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

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

Bookmark and Share