Public Act 99-0906 (the “Future Energy Jobs Bill”) was signed into law by Governor Rauner on December 7, 2016 and will take effect on June 1, 2017. The Illinois Renewable Portfolio Standard will be revamped to include new procurements and programs administered by the Illinois Power Agency. In addition, there will be revisions to net metering, a new rebate for smart inverters for photovoltaic projects, and new compliance obligations for Alternative Retail Electric Suppliers.
What is Planned for 2017?
In 2017 the Illinois Power Agency is conducting two procurements for distributed renewable generation resources on behalf of Ameren Illinois, ComEd, and MidAmerican pursuant to the Agency's 2017 Procurement Plan. The IPA will also conduct an Initial Forward Procurement for one million annual RECs from new wind projects, and conduct one or more procurements for one million annual RECs from new utility-scale photovoltaic projects pursuant to Section 1-75(c)(1)(G) of the Illinois Power Agency Act.
What is Next?
The Agency will develop a Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (see Section 1-75(c)(1)(A)) that will guide procurement of renewable resources for 2018 and beyond. The plan will include an adjustable block program for small-scale photovoltaic projects, support for community solar projects, the Illinois Solar for All program (see revised Section 1-56(b) of the IPA Act), and other procurements. The Plan is expected to be released for public comment in the second half of 2017. The Agency held workshops in May, 2017 to discuss the implementation of these new provisions.
Renewable Portfolio Standard for Alternative Retail Electric Suppliers
Public Act 99-0906 revises how Alternative Retail Electric Suppliers (“ARES”) comply with the RPS. ARES compliance with the RPS is determined by the Illinois Commerce Commission. They will be developing more information and guidance for ARES.
Key components of the changes include:
There will be changes to how Alternative Compliance Payments are submitted.
Effective June 1, 2017 the definition of renewable energy resources will be changed to remove the provision for “other alternative sources of environmentally preferable energy.” This may impact the eligibility of certain renewable resources to provide RECS for ARES compliance. More information on this change will be available at a later date.
Renewable Portfolio Standard obligations for ARES will be incrementally phased out, and end after the 2018-2019 delivery year.
Utility Procurements (20 ILCS 3855/1-75(c))
The Illinois Power Agency procures renewable resources for Ameren Illinois, ComEd, and MidAmerican to meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard obligations. As described above these obligations will be changing starting in 2017 pursuant to Public Act 99-0906.
Renewable Energy Resources Fund (20 ILCS 3855/1-56)
The Illinois Power Agency also administers the Renewable Energy Resources Fund which is comprised of Alternative Compliance Payments made by Alternative Retail Electric Suppliers as part of their Renewable Portfolio Standard obligations.
The fund is currently being used to support the $30 million Supplemental Photovoltaic Procurement Plan authorized by the Illinois General Assembly in Public Act 98-0672. View the Plan and procurement results. The Plan included three rounds of procurements in 2015/2016 that have now concluded.
As part of the Long-term Renewable Resources Plan, the Renewable Energy Resources Fund will also be used to support the Illinois Solar for All Program which will provide additional incentives for low-income households and communities.
Generator Interconnection Requirements