When we built the Prairie State Energy Campus in southern Illinois, we knew it would have a powerful economic impact on the region and beyond. But we wanted to know exactly how big that impact actually was. That’s why we commissioned a study from the University of Illinois.
The results were even bigger than we hoped. According to the study, Prairie State’s impact on the region is equal to more than $785 million every year. Here are a few reasons why:
- Prairie State is one of the largest power plant construction projects in the United States and the second-largest capital project in Illinois during the past 10 years.
- At its construction peak, Prairie State’s construction company, Bechtel, employed more than 4,000 trades men and women.
- Since its inception, Prairie State has hired more than 250 local vendors and suppliers, spending $80 million in Washington County, Illinois alone.
- More than 500 permanent, full-time employees are working at Prairie State. Economists predict that Prairie State will stimulate the creation of more than 800 additional jobs.
- The large majority of our employees make southern Illinois their home.
A Better Future Through Cleaner Coal
With the vast resources of the Illinois Basin’s coal mines, Prairie State is able to utilize a large domestic energy source that provides affordable, environmentally safe power to our members. And that affordability is key—we want to ensure everyone has access to affordable energy even in uncertain economic times. That makes coal an important part of our nation’s energy portfolio.
Here are some other benefits* to consider about coal-generated energy:
- 40 percent of the state of Illinois’ electricity comes from coal, resulting in the state having a lower cost of power for its residents.
- On average, 60 million American households with annual incomes below $50,000 spend 21 percent of their after-tax income on energy-related costs. That’s more than 20 cents of every dollar earned.
- More troubling, the per capita spending for energy is even higher for lower-income households. Those families earning between $10,000 and $30,000 per year (after taxes) – and that’s 23 percent of American households – are spending 24 percent of their after-tax income on household energy-related costs.
At Prairie State, we don’t take these considerations lightly. That’s why we’re working so hard to do our part, and keep energy costs down.
* Source: according to an American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE)-commissioned study based upon data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and other government sources.