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.