On Monday, Pennsylvania lawmakers took the first step toward proposing a bill to help save the state’s nuclear power plants.
The legislators propose to integrate nuclear power into the state’s existing Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act, a 2004 law that requires power companies to get an increasing percentage of their electricity from sources like wind, solar, hydropower, landfill methane and waste coal.
The bill would create a third tier in the portfolio act, a carbon-free tier that would be separate from the existing alternative energy sources in the portfolio’s first two tiers.
Rep. Thomas Mehaffie said he expects the cost to the average residential electric customer to be less than $2 a month but said the percentage hasn’t been finalized yet. The drafted bill is expected to be ready in a few weeks.
The bill’s supporters, includes 6 state senators from both parties, said it is necessary to maintain the state’s nearly 16,000 full-time nuclear jobs and provide diverse forms of reliable power to the grid.