Illinois consumers will experience significant benefits from the project. It will offer unmatched protections to consumers, including a guaranteed $100 million in savings over the life of the project for ratepayers and an innovative revenue sharing system that will provide additional cost savings to consumers. State law also includes a 2 percent annual rate cap to protect against any rate increase – the same structure that governs wind and solar projects in the state – and a $1.5 billion consumer protection reserve account that were both added as a result of feedback from Governor Quinn and consumer advocates.
"Working with Governor Quinn, the Citizens Utility Board and others, we were able to include a number of protections in the project's authorizing legislation when it was approved in 2011," said Hoyt Hudson, project manager for Chicago Clean Energy. "The project's success is tied directly to producing savings for consumers."
The Chicago Clean Energy technology uses a chemical process – without burning coal or other feedstock – to produce substitute natural gas and capture and remove impurities. Removing the component elements like sulfur, argon, and mercury is essential to producing the substitute natural gas. These additional products can be safely reused in construction, agriculture and manufacturing, or safely disposed of, rather than being released.
"The Chicago Clean Energy project is a win-win for our community," said Sandra Patterson, president of the Cottage Grove Heights Community Coalition. "This major investment will clean up a contaminated area, create jobs and bring a cutting-edge, environmentally advanced energy technology right to our backyard. I fully support the Chicago Clean Energy project and hope Governor Quinn will too."Chicago Clean Energy will pursue one of the most stringent air permits ever issued for an energy facility and will enable the clean-up of an existing 140-acre brownfield site, pending approval of the Senate Bill now before Governor Quinn.