Illinois Distributed Generation Procurement for Solar System Owners
In September 2015, the State of Illinois will offer an incentive to existing Illinois renewable energy distributed generation (DG) producers (systems <2,000kW) through the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). This program is administered as part of the Regular Procurement hosted by the Illinois Power Agency (“IPA”) and is funded through utility dollars collected for this purpose.
Summary of the Distributed Generation Procurement
The IPA runs procurements to purchase power as well as RECs for the state’s investor owned utilities. The purchase of RECs is required to meet the renewable energy targets in the Illinois Renewable Portfolio Standard. The IPA is hosting a procurement this September to purchase RECs from solar installations in Illinois, as well as from other eligible renewable energy technologies. The procurement will purchase RECs from system owners for 5 years. During this time system owners with winning bids must sell all of their RECs into this procurement. Systems will be categorized by energy type and system size; <25kW and those >25kW up to 2,000kW. The systems must be located in Illinois, both new and existing solar energy systems qualify. The utilities will purchase all RECs generated by winning systems between June 2015 and May 2020. The date that your system starts generating RECs is the date that the system was energized AND registered with a tracking system, not the date the system was turned on. CSG will register your system with a tracking system as part of their services.
What is a REC?
A Renewable Energy Certificate (“REC”) is a tradable, environmental asset that represents the environmental attributes of one Megawatt hour (1,000 kWh) of solar electricity. This opportunity is different than a net metering agreement with the utility. It is based on the total energy production of the renewable system in quarterly increments. Renewable energy system owners produce clean electrons and avoid dirty electrons from entering the electric grid. RECs are a way to track and monetize the environmental benefits of the clean energy being generated. The term Solar REC or SREC denotes the environmental attributes generated from a solar installation.
IPA Regular Procurement Opportunity
In order to participate system owners must report their solar production from meter or inverter readings on a quarterly basis through a regional online clearing house or “REC tracking system”. Once the system is registered it may generate RECs on the tracking system. These RECs can be sold through REC aggregators who bundle and market them to state entities and utilities that require them for compliance with the state’s RPS. For this procurement, the Illinois Power Agency requires an aggregator to act as an agent on behalf of the system owners to aggregate the RECs and enter into a single contract with the Illinois utilities.
At this time, ISEA is aware of only one business offering aggregation services for this procurement, Carbon Solutions Group. Those interested offering aggregation services or self-aggregating must meet bid requirements, which can be found on the IPA website.
Please visit the Carbon Solutions Group Page on the ISEA website for information on how to participate in the Illinois Power Agency Regular Procurement with CSG.
View the Webinar below and download the powerpoint slides here.
**** Please note, the Webinar has the following typo. The second slide reads > 25kW and it should read <25kW.