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    Illinois electricity customers who receive their power from a new coal-fired generation plant will see their electricity rates jump significantly, according to a recent report released by a clean energy advocacy group.

    According to the Chicago Daily Herald, the new Prairie State Energy plant will force customers to buy electricity for about $60 per megawatt hour, compared with the current $41-per-megawatt figure. The report noted that this proposed rate could be even higher, considering the plant's $4.9 billion, two-unit operation will only run at 85 percent capacity in its first year.

    "None of those promises is being kept by Prairie State to date," said Tom Santillo, a co-author of the report. " … Prairie State is an unnecessary financial burden on local governments and taxpayers."

    According to Midwest Energy News, Sandy Buchanan, executive director of Ohio Citizen Action, stated that the report demonstrates that the new plant will be a "financial nightmare" that will greatly affect Illinois ratepayers.

    Fortunately for Illinois residents, the state's energy deregulation laws allow customers to compare energy prices and switch providers if there is a rate plan that better suits their needs.