August 7th IPA Meeting Summary

12 Aug 2014 3:15 PM | Anonymous

by Lisa Albrecht, ISEA Policy Co-Chair


Thursday August 7th the Illinois Power Agency hosted a second public workshop to discuss the execution of HB 2427, the one-time procurement for $30million in Solar Renewable Energy Credits. The agenda and supporting documents can be found on the IPA web page. About 70 people participated in the discussions and seemed to represent a vast group of stakeholders including both local and national installers (primarily residential but also some commercial), home owners, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Elevate Energy, CUB, utilities (including ComEd, Ameren, a few ARES), the Metropolitan Mayor Caucus, Wind on the Wire and several wind developers, Wanxiang and many others.


Kicking the meeting off, Anthony Star reviewed the legislative language which broadly discusses time frames, $30m cap, 50% of the procurement must be systems <25kW, contract durations for a minimum of 5 years, credit requirements for participants and finally the broad use of aggregators. The language of the bill was intentionally left relatively loose, allowing the IPA some latitude to create a program based on industry and public input. In many respects, Illinois is fortunate that we can have a “test run” of a REC program which can help when crafting a more permanent solution.


Next NERA, the IPA regular procurement administrator, presented on trends and lessons learned in other state procurement focusing primarily on NJ, CT and DE. These states have many similarities to Illinois and the intent is to learn from their experiences while putting the IL program guidelines together. 


The final presentation was a review of the consolidated responses to the survey the IPA put out in July soliciting public comment and feedback. All individual responses including those submitted by The Illinois Solar Energy Association can be found on the IPA website. 


The remainder of the meeting was focused on discussing the broader issues to be tackled and defined. These comments will be taken under advisement by the IPA over the next 90 days as they develop a draft procurement plan. Much of this conversation was very similar to the June 12th workshop but additional points were discussed in detail. No decisions or preferences have been expressed officially at this time but it is clearly obvious that the IPA is eager to create something based strongly by market interest. 

1) Product Categories, System Type, Ownership Structure, Date of Installation

2) The Role and structure of Aggregators

3) REC Pricing, Declining Blocks, Rate Caps

4) Contract terms, Contract for differences, Flat Payments versus Annual


The IPA will publish the draft procurement plan by September 29th, followed by a public comment period through October 14th. The ISEA would love your input so please feel free to comment here on the blog to continue the conversation.

Thursday August 7th the Illinois Power Agency hosted a second public workshop to discuss the execution of HB 2427, the one-time procurement for $30million in Solar Renewable Energy Credits.  The agenda and supporting documents can be found on the IPA web page.  About 70 people participated in the discussions and seemed to represent a vast group of stakeholders including both local and national installers (primarily residential but also some commercial), home owners, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Elevate Energy, CUB, utilities (including ComEd, Ameren, a few ARES), the Metropolitan Mayor Caucus, Wind on the Wire and several wind developers, Wanxiang and many others.

Kicking the meeting off, Anthony Star reviewed the legislative language which broadly discusses time frames, $30m cap, 50% of the procurement must be systems <25kW, contract durations for a minimum of 5 years, credit requirements for participants and finally the broad use of aggregators.   The language of the bill was intentionally left relatively loose, allowing the IPA some latitude to create a program based on industry and public input.  In many respects, Illinois is fortunate that we can have a “test run” of a REC program which can help when crafting a more permanent solution.

Next NERA, the IPA regular procurement administrator, presented on trends and lessons learned in other state procurement focusing primarily on NJ, CT and DE.  These states have many similarities to Illinois and the intent is to learn from their experiences while putting the IL program guidelines together.

The final presentation was a review of the consolidated responses to the survey the IPA put out in July soliciting public comment and feedback.  All individual responses including those submitted by The Illinois Solar Energy Association can be found on the IPA website.

The remainder of the meeting was focused on discussing the broader issues to be tackled and defined.  These comments will be taken under advisement by the IPA over the next 90 days as they develop a draft procurement plan.  Much of this conversation was very similar to the June 12th workshop but additional points were discussed in detail.  No decisions or preferences have been expressed officially at this time but it is clearly obvious that the IPA is eager to create something based strongly by market interest. 

  • 1)     Product Categories, System Type, Ownership Structure, Date of Installation
  • 2)     The Role and structure of Aggregators
  • 3)     REC Pricing, Declining Blocks, Rate Caps
  • 4)     Contract terms, Contract for differences, Flat Payments versus Annual

The IPA will publish the draft procurement plan by September 29th, followed by a public comment period through October 14th.  The ISEA would love your input so please feel free to comment here on the blog to continue the conversation.

Thursday August 7th the Illinois Power Agency hosted a second public workshop to discuss the execution of HB 2427, the one-time procurement for $30million in Solar Renewable Energy Credits.  The agenda and supporting documents can be found on the IPA web page.  About 70 people participated in the discussions and seemed to represent a vast group of stakeholders including both local and national installers (primarily residential but also some commercial), home owners, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Elevate Energy, CUB, utilities (including ComEd, Ameren, a few ARES), the Metropolitan Mayor Caucus, Wind on the Wire and several wind developers, Wanxiang and many others.

Kicking the meeting off, Anthony Star reviewed the legislative language which broadly discusses time frames, $30m cap, 50% of the procurement must be systems <25kW, contract durations for a minimum of 5 years, credit requirements for participants and finally the broad use of aggregators.   The language of the bill was intentionally left relatively loose, allowing the IPA some latitude to create a program based on industry and public input.  In many respects, Illinois is fortunate that we can have a “test run” of a REC program which can help when crafting a more permanent solution.

Next NERA, the IPA regular procurement administrator, presented on trends and lessons learned in other state procurement focusing primarily on NJ, CT and DE.  These states have many similarities to Illinois and the intent is to learn from their experiences while putting the IL program guidelines together.

The final presentation was a review of the consolidated responses to the survey the IPA put out in July soliciting public comment and feedback.  All individual responses including those submitted by The Illinois Solar Energy Association can be found on the IPA website.

The remainder of the meeting was focused on discussing the broader issues to be tackled and defined.  These comments will be taken under advisement by the IPA over the next 90 days as they develop a draft procurement plan.  Much of this conversation was very similar to the June 12th workshop but additional points were discussed in detail.  No decisions or preferences have been expressed officially at this time but it is clearly obvious that the IPA is eager to create something based strongly by market interest. 

  • 1)     Product Categories, System Type, Ownership Structure, Date of Installation
  • 2)     The Role and structure of Aggregators
  • 3)     REC Pricing, Declining Blocks, Rate Caps
  • 4)     Contract terms, Contract for differences, Flat Payments versus Annual

The IPA will publish the draft procurement plan by September 29th, followed by a public comment period through October 14th.  The ISEA would love your input so please feel free to comment here on the blog to continue the conversation.

Webinar Q&A

Q: There is a 2% limit on rate increases. Are you sure this is not a problem? The rate increase is in reference to the total procurement, so we do not anticipate it being an issue.


Q: I am a homeowner. Your invitation stated you may have some new information concerning Gov. Rauner's budget. That's what I'm particularly interested in. The proposed budget for 2015/2016, at this time has eliminated rebates and grants. ISEA’s position is that we will continue to advocate for the continuation of this program. There is also a legislative bill that has proposed an extension to this program through 2020 which we support and will continue to track.


Q: Can you provide an REC typical value for an average sized home with this proposed declining block program? I have a hard time explaining the value of RECs. Since Illinois has not had a REC price in the past, it’s difficult to estimate what the initial market value may be. The supplemental procurement will go a long way in establishing Illinois REC market prices. In the meantime, the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) will continue to research other markets to make the best decisions for the Illinois market. The goal, of course, is to install solar, and the purpose of the REC is to incentivize solar purchases and ensure pricing makes economic sense. As a reminder, there’s still a bit of the process left before we see what price RECs will have in Illinois. Once the legislation has been passed, and the REC price is published, we’ll update as needed.


Q: What recs are available for people who installed solar systems in 2014? If the system was energized prior to January 21, 2015, you qualify for the regular procurement event in September 2015.


Q: Does Exelon nuclear energy qualify as renewable energy with the 35% by 2030? It does not. Renewable energy is defined within the statute and includes wind, solar, and biofuels. More information can be found at http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=88&GA=99&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=2607&GAID=13&LegID=88134&SpecSess=&Session=

It is important to note that the Clean Jobs Bill, not to be confused with other energy bills, is the only bill that focuses on renewable energy while producing 32000 jobs per year.


Q: Will clean energy that has already been produced from existing systems be considered for auction? No. The RECs will only be from the contract date of the accepted bid moving forward.


Q: If I plan to install more solar panels in 2015, are IL rebates still available, or is it dependent on Governor Rauner's budget proposal? The program for the 2014/2015 fiscal year is closed. So any future rebate availability will depend on the budget proposal. However, consider the procurement events of 2015/2016 as potential funding sources.  This scenario strongly highlights why we need to pass the Clean Jobs Bill (HB2607/SB1485) as it will provide a way to raise the status of renewable energy to equal that of all other forms of energy. Thus, any perceived dependence on rebates and grants will be removed.


Q: Evidently the 2014/20­15 rebates were frozen. Is that still the case? At this time, rebate decision letters have gone out, clarifying which will be paid and informing the owners that no further extensions will be granted.


Q: When will the specific process of solar customers contracting to be paid for future SRECs in place of the Illinois DCEO Rebate program be rolled out?­ The first supplemental procurement will be June 18, 2015. Aggregators are already available. We have a list of preferred companies here http://www.illinoissolar.org/SRECTrade-FAQ


Q: Once the REC schedule is defined, can you post some investment payback time scenarios on the ISEA blog, including the declining block ­ to let people know what is a realistic investment outlook?

We will try, however, we don’t anticipate seeing any information on this until early to mid 2016.



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