Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB2591
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Full Text of SB2591  103rd General Assembly




State of Illinois
2023 and 2024


Introduced 10/18/2023, by Sen. Sue Rezin


220 ILCS 5/8-406  from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 8-406
220 ILCS 5/8-406.3 new

    Amends the Public Utilities Act. Deletes language that provides that no construction shall commence on any new nuclear power plant to be located within the State, and no certificate of public convenience and necessity or other authorization shall be issued therefor by the Illinois Commerce Commission, until the Director of the Environmental Protection Agency finds that the United States Government has identified and approved a demonstrable technology or means for the disposal of high level nuclear waste, or until such construction has been specifically approved by a statute enacted by the General Assembly. Provides that the Commission shall only issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity to a public utility operating or located within the State or to a company with a fossil fuel-based power generator. Provides that the Commission shall adopt rules concerning the granting of certificates of public convenience and necessity for the construction, purchase, or lease of small modular nuclear reactors. Provides requirements for the Commission to follow when adopting rules for the granting of certificates of public convenience and necessity for small modular nuclear reactors. Provides that the Commission may adopt emergency rules for the granting of certificates of public convenience and necessity for small modular nuclear reactors.

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SB2591LRB103 34068 LNS 63885 b

1    AN ACT concerning utilities.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Public Utilities Act is amended by changing
5Section 8-406 and by adding Section 8-406.3 as follows:
6    (220 ILCS 5/8-406)  (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 8-406)
7    Sec. 8-406. Certificate of public convenience and
9    (a) No public utility not owning any city or village
10franchise nor engaged in performing any public service or in
11furnishing any product or commodity within this State as of
12July 1, 1921 and not possessing a certificate of public
13convenience and necessity from the Illinois Commerce
14Commission, the State Public Utilities Commission, or the
15Public Utilities Commission, at the time Public Act 84-617
16goes into effect (January 1, 1986), shall transact any
17business in this State until it shall have obtained a
18certificate from the Commission that public convenience and
19necessity require the transaction of such business. A
20certificate of public convenience and necessity requiring the
21transaction of public utility business in any area of this
22State shall include authorization to the public utility
23receiving the certificate of public convenience and necessity



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1to construct such plant, equipment, property, or facility as
2is provided for under the terms and conditions of its tariff
3and as is necessary to provide utility service and carry out
4the transaction of public utility business by the public
5utility in the designated area.
6    (b) No public utility shall begin the construction of any
7new plant, equipment, property, or facility which is not in
8substitution of any existing plant, equipment, property, or
9facility, or any extension or alteration thereof or in
10addition thereto, unless and until it shall have obtained from
11the Commission a certificate that public convenience and
12necessity require such construction. Whenever after a hearing
13the Commission determines that any new construction or the
14transaction of any business by a public utility will promote
15the public convenience and is necessary thereto, it shall have
16the power to issue certificates of public convenience and
17necessity. The Commission shall determine that proposed
18construction will promote the public convenience and necessity
19only if the utility demonstrates: (1) that the proposed
20construction is necessary to provide adequate, reliable, and
21efficient service to its customers and is the least-cost means
22of satisfying the service needs of its customers or that the
23proposed construction will promote the development of an
24effectively competitive electricity market that operates
25efficiently, is equitable to all customers, and is the
26least-cost least cost means of satisfying those objectives;



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1(2) that the utility is capable of efficiently managing and
2supervising the construction process and has taken sufficient
3action to ensure adequate and efficient construction and
4supervision thereof; and (3) that the utility is capable of
5financing the proposed construction without significant
6adverse financial consequences for the utility or its
8    (b-5) As used in this subsection (b-5):
9    "Qualifying direct current applicant" means an entity that
10seeks to provide direct current bulk transmission service for
11the purpose of transporting electric energy in interstate
13    "Qualifying direct current project" means a high voltage
14direct current electric service line that crosses at least one
15Illinois border, the Illinois portion of which is physically
16located within the region of the Midcontinent Independent
17System Operator, Inc., or its successor organization, and runs
18through the counties of Pike, Scott, Greene, Macoupin,
19Montgomery, Christian, Shelby, Cumberland, and Clark, is
20capable of transmitting electricity at voltages of 345
21kilovolts or above, and may also include associated
22interconnected alternating current interconnection facilities
23in this State that are part of the proposed project and
24reasonably necessary to connect the project with other
25portions of the grid.
26    Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, a



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1qualifying direct current applicant that does not own,
2control, operate, or manage, within this State, any plant,
3equipment, or property used or to be used for the transmission
4of electricity at the time of its application or of the
5Commission's order may file an application on or before
6December 31, 2023 with the Commission pursuant to this Section
7or Section 8-406.1 for, and the Commission may grant, a
8certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct,
9operate, and maintain a qualifying direct current project. The
10qualifying direct current applicant may also include in the
11application requests for authority under Section 8-503. The
12Commission shall grant the application for a certificate of
13public convenience and necessity and requests for authority
14under Section 8-503 if it finds that the qualifying direct
15current applicant and the proposed qualifying direct current
16project satisfy the requirements of this subsection and
17otherwise satisfy the criteria of this Section or Section
188-406.1 and the criteria of Section 8-503, as applicable to
19the application and to the extent such criteria are not
20superseded by the provisions of this subsection. The
21Commission's order on the application for the certificate of
22public convenience and necessity shall also include the
23Commission's findings and determinations on the request or
24requests for authority pursuant to Section 8-503. Prior to
25filing its application under either this Section or Section
268-406.1, the qualifying direct current applicant shall conduct



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13 public meetings in accordance with subsection (h) of this
2Section. If the qualifying direct current applicant
3demonstrates in its application that the proposed qualifying
4direct current project is designed to deliver electricity to a
5point or points on the electric transmission grid in either or
6both the PJM Interconnection, LLC or the Midcontinent
7Independent System Operator, Inc., or their respective
8successor organizations, the proposed qualifying direct
9current project shall be deemed to be, and the Commission
10shall find it to be, for public use. If the qualifying direct
11current applicant further demonstrates in its application that
12the proposed transmission project has a capacity of 1,000
13megawatts or larger and a voltage level of 345 kilovolts or
14greater, the proposed transmission project shall be deemed to
15satisfy, and the Commission shall find that it satisfies, the
16criteria stated in item (1) of subsection (b) of this Section
17or in paragraph (1) of subsection (f) of Section 8-406.1, as
18applicable to the application, without the taking of
19additional evidence on these criteria. Prior to the transfer
20of functional control of any transmission assets to a regional
21transmission organization, a qualifying direct current
22applicant shall request Commission approval to join a regional
23transmission organization in an application filed pursuant to
24this subsection (b-5) or separately pursuant to Section 7-102
25of this Act. The Commission may grant permission to a
26qualifying direct current applicant to join a regional



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1transmission organization if it finds that the membership, and
2associated transfer of functional control of transmission
3assets, benefits Illinois customers in light of the attendant
4costs and is otherwise in the public interest. Nothing in this
5subsection (b-5) requires a qualifying direct current
6applicant to join a regional transmission organization.
7Nothing in this subsection (b-5) requires the owner or
8operator of a high voltage direct current transmission line
9that is not a qualifying direct current project to obtain a
10certificate of public convenience and necessity to the extent
11it is not otherwise required by this Section 8-406 or any other
12provision of this Act.
13    (c) (Blank). After September 11, 1987 (the effective date
14of Public Act 85-377), no construction shall commence on any
15new nuclear power plant to be located within this State, and no
16certificate of public convenience and necessity or other
17authorization shall be issued therefor by the Commission,
18until the Director of the Illinois Environmental Protection
19Agency finds that the United States Government, through its
20authorized agency, has identified and approved a demonstrable
21technology or means for the disposal of high level nuclear
22waste, or until such construction has been specifically
23approved by a statute enacted by the General Assembly.
24    As used in this Section, "high level nuclear waste" means
25those aqueous wastes resulting from the operation of the first
26cycle of the solvent extraction system or equivalent and the



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1concentrated wastes of the subsequent extraction cycles or
2equivalent in a facility for reprocessing irradiated reactor
3fuel and shall include spent fuel assemblies prior to fuel
5    (d) In making its determination under subsection (b) of
6this Section, the Commission shall attach primary weight to
7the cost or cost savings to the customers of the utility. The
8Commission may consider any or all factors which will or may
9affect such cost or cost savings, including the public
10utility's engineering judgment regarding the materials used
11for construction.
12    (e) The Commission may issue a temporary certificate which
13shall remain in force not to exceed one year in cases of
14emergency, to assure maintenance of adequate service or to
15serve particular customers, without notice or hearing, pending
16the determination of an application for a certificate, and may
17by regulation exempt from the requirements of this Section
18temporary acts or operations for which the issuance of a
19certificate will not be required in the public interest.
20    A public utility shall not be required to obtain but may
21apply for and obtain a certificate of public convenience and
22necessity pursuant to this Section with respect to any matter
23as to which it has received the authorization or order of the
24Commission under the Electric Supplier Act, and any such
25authorization or order granted a public utility by the
26Commission under that Act shall as between public utilities be



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1deemed to be, and shall have except as provided in that Act the
2same force and effect as, a certificate of public convenience
3and necessity issued pursuant to this Section.
4    No electric cooperative shall be made or shall become a
5party to or shall be entitled to be heard or to otherwise
6appear or participate in any proceeding initiated under this
7Section for authorization of power plant construction and as
8to matters as to which a remedy is available under the Electric
9Supplier Act.
10    (f) Such certificates may be altered or modified by the
11Commission, upon its own motion or upon application by the
12person or corporation affected. Unless exercised within a
13period of 2 years from the grant thereof, authority conferred
14by a certificate of convenience and necessity issued by the
15Commission shall be null and void.
16    No certificate of public convenience and necessity shall
17be construed as granting a monopoly or an exclusive privilege,
18immunity, or franchise.
19    (g) A public utility that undertakes any of the actions
20described in items (1) through (3) of this subsection (g) or
21that has obtained approval pursuant to Section 8-406.1 of this
22Act shall not be required to comply with the requirements of
23this Section to the extent such requirements otherwise would
24apply. For purposes of this Section and Section 8-406.1 of
25this Act, "high voltage electric service line" means an
26electric line having a design voltage of 100,000 or more. For



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1purposes of this subsection (g), a public utility may do any of
2the following:
3        (1) replace or upgrade any existing high voltage
4    electric service line and related facilities,
5    notwithstanding its length;
6        (2) relocate any existing high voltage electric
7    service line and related facilities, notwithstanding its
8    length, to accommodate construction or expansion of a
9    roadway or other transportation infrastructure; or
10        (3) construct a high voltage electric service line and
11    related facilities that is constructed solely to serve a
12    single customer's premises or to provide a generator
13    interconnection to the public utility's transmission
14    system and that will pass under or over the premises owned
15    by the customer or generator to be served or under or over
16    premises for which the customer or generator has secured
17    the necessary right of way.
18    (h) A public utility seeking to construct a high-voltage
19electric service line and related facilities (Project) must
20show that the utility has held a minimum of 2 pre-filing public
21meetings to receive public comment concerning the Project in
22each county where the Project is to be located, no earlier than
236 months prior to filing an application for a certificate of
24public convenience and necessity from the Commission. Notice
25of the public meeting shall be published in a newspaper of
26general circulation within the affected county once a week for



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13 consecutive weeks, beginning no earlier than one month prior
2to the first public meeting. If the Project traverses 2
3contiguous counties and where in one county the transmission
4line mileage and number of landowners over whose property the
5proposed route traverses is one-fifth or less of the
6transmission line mileage and number of such landowners of the
7other county, then the utility may combine the 2 pre-filing
8meetings in the county with the greater transmission line
9mileage and affected landowners. All other requirements
10regarding pre-filing meetings shall apply in both counties.
11Notice of the public meeting, including a description of the
12Project, must be provided in writing to the clerk of each
13county where the Project is to be located. A representative of
14the Commission shall be invited to each pre-filing public
16    (i) For applications filed after August 18, 2015 (the
17effective date of Public Act 99-399), the Commission shall, by
18certified mail, notify each owner of record of land, as
19identified in the records of the relevant county tax assessor,
20included in the right-of-way over which the utility seeks in
21its application to construct a high-voltage electric line of
22the time and place scheduled for the initial hearing on the
23public utility's application. The utility shall reimburse the
24Commission for the cost of the postage and supplies incurred
25for mailing the notice.
26    (j) The Commission shall only issue a certificate of



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1public convenience and necessity under this Section to a
2public utility operating or located within the State or to a
3company with a fossil fuel-based power generator.
4(Source: P.A. 102-609, eff. 8-27-21; 102-662, eff. 9-15-21;
5102-813, eff. 5-13-22; 102-931, eff. 5-27-22.)
6    (220 ILCS 5/8-406.3 new)
7    Sec. 8-406.3. Certificate of public convenience and
8necessity; small modular nuclear reactor.
9    (a) As used this Section, "small modular nuclear reactor"
10means a nuclear reactor that:
11        (1) has a rated electric generating capacity of not
12    more than 350 megawatts;
13        (2) is capable of being constructed and operated,
14    either alone or in combination with one or more similar
15    reactors if additional reactors are, or become, necessary
16    at a single site; and
17        (3) is required to be licensed by the United States
18    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
19    "Small modular nuclear reactor" includes a nuclear reactor
20that is described in this subsection and that uses a process to
21produce hydrogen that can be used for energy storage, as a
22fuel, or for other uses.
23    (b) No later than July 1, 2024, the Commission shall adopt
24rules concerning the granting of certificates of public
25convenience and necessity under this Section for the



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1construction, purchase, or lease of small modular nuclear
3        (1) in this State for the generation of electricity to
4    be directly or indirectly used to furnish public utility
5    service to customers in this State; or
6        (2) at the site of nuclear energy production or
7    generation facility that supplies electricity to retail
8    customers in this State.
9    (c) Rules adopted by the Commission under this Section
10must provide for the following:
11        (1) that in acting on a public utility's petition for
12    the construction, purchase, or lease of one or more small
13    modular nuclear reactors, as described in subsection (b),
14    the Commission shall consider the following:
15            (A) whether, and to what extent, the one or more
16        small modular nuclear reactors proposed by the public
17        utility will replace a loss of generating capacity in
18        the public utility's portfolio resulting from the
19        retirement or planned retirement of one or more of the
20        public utility's existing electric generating
21        facilities that:
22                (i) are located in this State; and
23                (ii) use coal or natural gas as a fuel source;
24            and
25            (B) whether one or more of the small modular
26        nuclear reactors that will replace an existing



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1        facility will be located on the same site as or near
2        the existing facility and, if so, potential
3        opportunities for the public utility to:
4                (i) make use of any land and existing
5            infrastructure or facilities already owned or
6            under the control of the public utility; or
7                (ii) create new employment opportunities for
8            workers who have been, or would be, displaced as a
9            result of the retirement of the existing facility;
10        (2) that the Commission may grant a certificate under
11    this Section under circumstances and for locations other
12    than those described in paragraph (1);
13        (3) that the Commission may not grant a certificate
14    under this Section unless the owner or operator of a
15    proposed small modular nuclear reactor provides evidence
16    of a plan to apply for all licenses or permits to construct
17    or operate the proposed small modular nuclear reactor as
18    may be required by:
19            (A) the United States Nuclear Regulatory
20        Commission;
21            (B) the Department of Natural Resources or the
22        Environmental Protection Agency; or
23            (C) any other relevant State or federal regulatory
24        agency with jurisdiction over the construction or
25        operation of nuclear generating facilities;
26        (4) that any reports, notices of violations, or other



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1    notifications sent to or from the United States Nuclear
2    Regulatory Commission by or to the owner or operator of a
3    proposed small nuclear reactor must be submitted by the
4    owner or operator to the Commission within such time as
5    prescribed by the Commission, subject to the Commission's
6    duty to treat as confidential and protect from public
7    access and disclosure any information that is contained in
8    a report or notice and that is considered confidential or
9    exempt from public access and disclosure under State or
10    federal law; and
11        (5) that any person that owns or operates a small
12    modular nuclear reactor in this State may not store spent
13    nuclear fuel as defined in the Illinois Nuclear Safety
14    Preparedness Act or high level radioactive waste as also
15    defined in that Act from the small modular nuclear reactor
16    on the site of the small modular nuclear reactor without
17    first meeting all applicable requirements of the United
18    States Regulatory Commission.
19    (d) In adopting the rules required by this Section, the
20Commission may adopt emergency rules in the State.
21    (e) This Section shall not be construed to affect the
22authority of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission.