Ameren's sale of five Illinois coal-fired power plants to Dynegy, Inc. will likely close next month. That after the Illinois Pollution Control board on Thursday granted Dynegy permission to defer the installation of multi-million dollar pollution controls for five years.
Ameren had agreed to the improvements years ago, but said approval of the environmental variance was a condition of the sale.
In a 3-1 vote, state regulators decided that forcing Dynegy to install the soot scrubbers immediately would "impose an arbitrary and unreasonable hardship."
The company that's taking over Ameren's coal-fired power plants in Illinois wants to take over their 5 year pollution waiver as well.
Dynegy Inc. agreed to acquire the plants six months after the Illinois Pollution Control Board granted a variance giving Ameren more time to meet stricter air pollution limits at their central and southern Illinois plants.
Ameren and Dynegy are expected to argue that the subsidiary formed to acquire the plants can't afford the costly pollution controls in a depressed power market, and would have to close some plants if a waiver isn't granted.