News & Announcements

  • 11 Sep 2013 10:04 PM | Lesley McCain (Administrator)

     

    ISEA has traditionally held an all state solar tour the first Saturday in October. This year ISEA is planning eight City of Chicago solar tours in conjunction with Solar Power International (SPI13) being held in Chicago the third week of October.

     

    These free tours will be open to SPI13 attendees and as well as the  general public.  ISEA will be hosting a solar lunch and learn that day for Illinois state legislators, who will then have the opportunity to attend one of the tours.  

     

    ISEA works to identify and remove barriers to renewable energy development in the Illinois.  This unique opportunity will bring attention to local solar development and provide a platform to educate our legislators on the importance of good renewable energy policy.

     

    A state-wide solar tour is tentatively being planned for the spring of 2014.  We greatly appreciate and acknowledge the many volunteers that have opened their homes and businesses to allow others to learn about the many benefits of being powered by the sun!  ISEA will be reaching out for help developing and implementing an 2014 Illinois Solar Tour.

  • 11 Sep 2013 5:39 PM | Lesley McCain (Administrator)

     

    DCEO is releasing a Request for Application for the FY 2014 Large-Distributed Solar and Wind Grant Program (was previously called the Community Solar and Wind Grant Program) on Monday, September 16th.

     

    This RFA is a competitive solicitation, with applications due to DCEO on or before 4:30 p.m. on November 7, 2013.  Program guidelines and application forms will be available from the Illinois Energy Office’s website at http://www.illinoisbiz.biz/dceo/Bureaus/Energy_Recycling/Energy/Clean+Energy/01a-Community+Solar.htm on September 16th.

     

    The focus of the Large-Distributed Solar and Wind Energy Grant Program is to support the development and implementation of distributed community and commercial-scale solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, and wind energy technologies in Illinois. 

    Proposed solar photovoltaic projects are eligible for grants up to 25 percent of eligible project costs for business entities and 40 percent for local government and non-profit entities.  Solar thermal and wind energy projects are eligible for grants up to 30 percent of eligible project costs for business entities and 40 percent for local government and non-profit entities. The maximum grant award is $250,000.    Eligibility is limited to project costs for the purchase and installation of solar and wind generation equipment, and related metering components as appropriate.  Total funding for the program is a minimum of $1.75 million for Fiscal Year 2014. 

     

    Here are some key changes we are making to the grant program from last year:

    • Incentives for business will be $1.25 per watt (instead of $1.50) or 25% of project cost, whichever is less. Maximum grant will still be $250,000.
      We added language in section 8.2.8 to require any project that is completed after December 31, 2013 must be completed by a certified distributed energy installer (as will be required by Illinois Commerce Commission rules)
      In Section 8.3 we added more program information of details that will be in the grant agreement
      In section 8.4.3 we included language that makes it clear that any applicant that is a current or previous grantee of the Department and was/is delinquent in its compliance with grant provisions shall have such delinquency included as one of the application evaluation criteria for this current application
      In Appendix A (Documentation Requirements outline) we now request that applicants provide a payback analysis.
  • 09 Sep 2013 10:21 PM | Lesley McCain (Administrator)

     An informative program designed to educate consumers on the benefits of solar energy and demonstrate that solar power have never been cheaper or easier to install. 
     
    Register for one of these unique, free events called McHenry County College Power Hours and learn the basics about solar, find out how to get a site assessment to see if your home or business meets specifications for solar and get information on qualified solar installers and incentive information.
     
    These FREE sessions on September 19 and November 14 will be led by experienced Midwest Renewable Energy Association staff. They will be able to answer your questions about solar and help you find low cost options for installation.  Through this program, a homeowner or business can save money, create jobs and expand the use of clean energy. 
     
    To register for this free event, please call MCC Registration Office (815) 455-8588 Sept. 19: Course ID NPG S88 019 and Nov. 14 Course ID NPG S88 020  or go to http://www.growsolar.org/power-pack-program/program-for-homeowners/.   We have a limited number of seats, so please register as soon as possible.
     
  • 09 Sep 2013 9:55 PM | Lesley McCain (Administrator)

     

    Earlier this year the City of Chicago created an expedited permitting process and established a new set of standards designed to facilitate and encourage the installation of Photovoltaic Panels (PV panels) in Chicago.  The new process and standards are detailed in the Department of Building’s new Photovoltaic Panel Permitting Guidelines.  Lindsay Anderson, the author of the guidelines, will be offering three training sessions to help design professionals to become familiar with the specific requirements for the Zoning, Electrical and Structural aspects of PV installations.

     

     The sessions will be held in the ground floor, large conference room in the Department of Building’s Racine Office located at 120 North Racine.  They are scheduled for September 24th, 25th and 26th from 9:00 AM to 12:00 (noon).  The material covered at each session will be the same so no need to register for all three. 

     

     Seating is limited so please register for one of the sessions by calling Michael Berkshire at 312.744.9363 or emailing at michael.berkshire@cityofchicago.org.

     

    LOGISTICS
    1. 120 North Racine is a 3-story office building located at Racine, Washington Street and Randolph Street.
    2. Please park on the street.  Do Not park in the parking lot adjacent to the building. They are owned by the CTA and unauthorized vehicles will be towed.
    3. If you would like to use public transportation, use the CTA #20 bus running along Madison Street (1 block to the south) with a designated stop at Racine or take the Green Line / Lake Street Train to the Morgan Street Station and walk west 4 blocks to Racine Street.
    4. All participants must check in with the security desk in the lobby to receive a temporary ID.

  • 09 Sep 2013 4:15 PM | Lesley McCain (Administrator)

     

    The IL DCEO made the following announcement for the state rebate program today 9/9/13

    The program guidelines and application will become available on this date at our website at http://www.illinoisbiz.biz/dceo/Bureaus/Energy_Recycling/Energy/Clean+Energy/01-RERP.htm.

     

    All applications must be submitted, without exception, on these new forms for Fiscal Year 2014 and must be filled out completely and signed and dated by both the applicant and the installer/project manager. Any applications received under previous application forms will be rejected.


      Here are some key changes we are making to the rebate program from previous years:

    • We have changed the system for considering rebate applications from first come first serve to random selection (Section 3.1 of new guidelines). We will accept applications until October 31, 2013. Applications will be assigned a number as they are received, and we will have a pre-selected list of random numbers that we will use as the order we will consider applications. We will keep moving down the list of applications based on the random numbers list until all rebate funds have been allocated. The remaining applications will be on our waiting list and will be considered (again, based on the random number list) as projects are cancelled or if additional funds become available.
      We are requiring that the application be submitted by the applicant. While the installer/developer may assist in filling out application and organizing the required documents, the application cannot be sent to us by the installer.
      We added language in section 2.6 to require any project that is completed after December 31, 2013 must be completed by a certified distributed energy installer (as will be required by ICC rules)

    We have also made some changes to the incentives


    • Will keep $10,000 as maximum rebate for residential, but increase it to $20,000 for businesses, and $30,000 for public sector/non-profits; lowered per watt incentive for businesses installing PV from $1.50 to $1.25 per watt (or 25% of cost, whichever is less)


    • Changing incentives for wind energy projects – keeping it at $1.75 per watt if applicants install a SWCC (Small Wind Certification Council) certified turbine, but only a $1.00 per watt for turbines that are not SWCC certified


    We have also added appendix C that provides a template for installer certification letter – this letter is required at the completion of a project.


    We prefer that applications be submitted via email (ceo.rerp@illinois/gov), though we do also allow applications be sent through regular mail.  However, please do not submit both ways – we just need one copy of the application.  If you send applications by email, you will receive a response that your application has been received.  And again the application must be send by the rebate applicant.


    We have allocated a minimum of $1.5 million to the rebate program this fiscal years, similar to what we have had available the last few years.

    We have changed the system for considering rebate applications from first come first serve to random selection (Section 3.1 of new guidelines). We will accept applications until October 31, 2013. Applications will be assigned a number as they are received, and we will have a pre-selected list of random numbers that we will use as the order we will consider applications. We will keep moving down the list of applications based on the random numbers list until all rebate funds have been allocated. The remaining applications will be on our waiting list and will be considered (again, based on the random number list) as projects are cancelled or if additional funds become available.


    We are requiring that the application be submitted by the applicant. While the installer/developer may assist in filling out application and organizing the required documents, the application cannot be sent to us by the installer.


    We added language in section 2.6 to require any project that is completed after December 31, 2013 must be completed by a certified distributed energy installer (as will be required by ICC rules)


    We prefer that applications be submitted via email at ceo.rerp@illinois.gov, though we do also allow applications be sent through regular mail.  However, please do not submit both ways – we just need one copy of the application.  If you send applications by email, you will receive a response that your application has been received.  And again the application must be send by the rebate applicant.


    We have allocated a minimum of $1.5 million to the rebate program this fiscal years, similar to what we have had available the last few years.

  • 12 Jul 2013 7:56 PM | Shelbi Hoffman (Administrator)
    The Illinois Solar Energy Association, in partnership with the City of Naperville, is pleased to announce a request for renewable energy certificates generated from Illinois grid-tied solar photovoltaic systems 10 kW or smaller.

    The time period of usage covered by this solicitation is May 1, 2012 thru April 30, 2013 ONLY.

    ISEA offers the Renewable Energy Certificate Aggregation Program (RECAP) to Illinois solar photovoltaic (PV) system owners, providing them with an opportunity to receive payment for their Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs).
     
    The aggregated SRECs from RECAP supply the solar portion of the City of Naperville's Renewable Energy Program.  This partnership is the first market example of SREC transactions in Illinois. Prior to the RECAP program implementation, only large energy producers had the ability to sell their SRECs. This program was created in 2008 to provide revenue stream for small PV system owners and to support Illinois distributed generation solar development

    To qualify for RECAP, you must meet the following criteria:
    • Be an active member with ISEA (Individual membership for a residential system, business membership for a commercial system)  Join Now

    • Own and operate an Illinois grid-tied solar photovoltaic system with any utility in Illinois (must be net metered)

    • System size must be 10 kW alternating current (AC) or smaller with a Level 1 or related interconnection

    • Own SRECs and have not otherwise sold or delivered them to another party (No 3rd party SRECs accepted)

    • Ability to monitor solar electricity production on a quarterly basis (1 application per member per year)

    • System must be installed and operational before applying

    All applicants are required to provide proof of system

    RECAP is an annual program and requires a yearly application.  Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis and will be cut off when the cap is met

    Application for the RECAP program is a two step process.
    1. Fill out the online Application.  This application is time/date stamped.

    2. Once it has been determined how many SRECs are needed for the Naperville program, Green-e attestation forms will be requested from the applicants in the order that the initial application was received.

    Please note: RECAP applicants accepted into the 2012-13 program will need to be able to complete all of the information on the Green-e Attestation form and have the required supplemental documents if this is the first time applying.

    2012-13 SRECs will be purchased for $105.  Quantity of SRECs available for purchase will be announced in June.

    This solicitation is only a proposal and no guarantee of purchase in any form is implied at this time.

    For further information, please visit the RECAP page.
  • 11 Jul 2013 8:10 PM | Shelbi Hoffman (Administrator)
    The City of Naperville's Renewable Energy Program cannot purchase all of SRECs from the current distributed generation projects in Illinois.  In addition, the Naperville program which has been in existence since 2005, is not guaranteed to remain in existence.

    The real fix to having a viable distributed generation SREC market in Illinois is to get the state Renewable Portfolio Standard, which was implemented in 2007, working again!

    The Illinois Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) - a policy that requires electricity retailers to provide a minimum percentage or quantity of their electricity supplies from renewable energy sources - is broken.

    Take action to ensure that the Illinois RPS functions as originally intended.  Let your representatives know that you support SB103.


    Due to municipal aggregation ComEd and Ameren are over purchased for both electricity and RECs. Consequently the Illinois Power Authority does not plan on procuring any renewable energy until 2018.

    The RPS needs to be fixed so the distributed generation and the solar carve outs can be implemented to grow solar development in Illinois.

    Take Action!

    Take action to ensure that the Illinois RPS functions as originally intended.
    Call your legislators today and let them know that you support the RPS fix.
    It is easy, takes less than 5 min and you do not have to be a expert, just a constituent who would benefit from the fix.
  • 10 Jul 2013 8:12 PM | Shelbi Hoffman (Administrator)
    Stand Up for Solar!

    ISEA Solar Lobby Day was a great success!

    The Illinois solar industry is banding together to educate our legislators on the importance of fixing our state Renewable Portfolio Standard.

    When the RPS is functioning as originally intended, it will provide the funding and stability necessary for the development of local renewable energy, and generate a positive market resulting in new businesses and jobs in Illinois.

    Ensure that lawmakers understand the impact this issue has on you, your business, family and future.

    Make sure that your voice is heard!

    Call your legislator and let them know that you support the RPS no cost fix!

    Talking Points
  • 29 Mar 2013 8:15 PM | Shelbi Hoffman (Administrator)
    The USDA on Friday, March 29th, released a funding notice for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for 2013. While the funding levels have diminished, the funding this year will help hundreds of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects around the country reach fruition.

    REAP supports a broad range of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. With REAP farm energy includes energy efficiency, wind power, solar, hydroelectric and bioenergy of many sorts.

    It’s important to note that the deadline for grants for feasibility study or project construction is April 30. This is a very tight turnaround – the shortest in the history of the REAP program. However, the timeline for loan guarantees is generous – a deadline of July 15, 2013.

    Competition will be strong as overall funding available is now only $20.8 million. The USDA hopes to allocate one half each for grants and loan guarantees. If the USDA succeeds in using $10.4 million in funding for loan guarantees, the risk-adjusted level of loan guarantees would be $43.4 million.

    The USDA has set aside $4.1 million to fund grants of $20,000 or less. This reflects the emphasis placed by Congress on small projects in the 2008 Farm Bill.

    Feasibility study funding has been capped at $250,000 nationwide. The USDA provides no reason for this cap.

    Interested parties should contact their state USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator. You can download the official funding notice here.

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