Chicago turns on to clean energy

15 November 2013

US utility Constellation has signed a contract to supply Chicago with electricity for its municipal facilities and street lighting. A mix of nuclear, gas, wind and solar will reduce emissions by 99.5%.

Chicago skyline at night 420
Coal's role in lighting Chicago's skyline will diminish (Image: City of Chicago)

The new 25-month agreement builds upon the zero-coal municipal electricity aggregation agreement approved by the city council in December 2012. The supply contract applies to Chicago's Fleet and Facility Management portfolio, which includes some 450 facilities - including libraries, police and fire stations, City Hall and airports - as well as Chicago's street and traffic lights.

According to the City of Chicago, "By eliminating coal and transitioning to cleaner energy produced by nuclear and natural gas generation facilities based in Illinois, the city will reduce its carbon emissions by 99.5% and removal the equivalent of 221,000 cars from the road."

Constellation - a subsidiary of Chicago-based Exelon - provides gas and electricity to residential, commercial and industrial customers in Illinois. Exelon owns and operates six nuclear plants (Braidwood, Byron, Clinton, Dresden, La Salle and Quad Cities) with a combined capacity of 11,651 MWe. It also operates one wind project, one solar plant and one natural gas plant in the state, with a combined capacity of 306 MWe.

Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel commented, "Through the success of the municipal aggregation program, the City of Chicago has decreased its carbon footprint while delivering savings to residents and small businesses. Our agreement with Constellation will build on this success while creating a cleaner, healthier environment for our children."

"We're pleased to partner with the City of Chicago on an agreement that will lower costs, enhance sustainability and advance Chicago's clean energy leadership," said Constellation vice president, public sector, Louis Hutchinson.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News