Archive for the ‘Illinois’ Category

Illinois Fall 2017 Utility DG Procurement Results

Posted October 20th, 2017 by SRECTrade.

In October 2017, SRECTrade participated in the Fall round of the Illinois 2017 Utility Distributed Generation Procurement. SRECTrade was among the three winning suppliers of the 5-year REC contracts awarded through the Fall 2017 Utility DG Procurement. A summary of average winning bid prices and number of RECs can be found below.  Please note that the number of RECs quoted by the IPA is in annual quantities. For the Illinois Power Agency’s official announcement of the results, please click here.

The IPA procured 40,765 RECs during the Fall round, which fulfilled 30% of the 2017 procurement target (138,510 total RECs over five years between both rounds). The remaining volume of 97,745 RECs was accounted for by the Spring round.

There are no future supplemental photovoltaic or distributed generation procurement rounds announced at this time. SRECTrade will be participating in the IL Adjustable Block Program, scheduled to roll out in mid-2018. For more information on this program, please visit our blog post on the topic.

Illinois Power Agency Releases Draft Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan

Posted October 5th, 2017 by SRECTrade.

On September 29, 2017, the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) released its Draft Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (the Draft Plan). The Draft Plan has been released for comment pursuant to Section 16- 111.5(b) of the Public Utilities Act and Sections 1-56 (b) and 1-75(c) of the Illinois Power Agency Act as recently modified by Public Act 99-0906, which went into effect on June 1, 2017.

The Draft Plan sets out the procurements and programs that the IPA has proposed in order to meet the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirements contained in Section 1-75(c)(1) of the Illinois Power Agency Act, including the Adjustable Block Program and the Illinois Solar for All Program. This post provides a summary of the statutory process and a brief overview of the Adjustable Block Program (ABP) as presented in the Draft Plan, but does not contain detail on other elements of the plan, including competitive procurements, the Illinois Solar for All Program, or the Community Renewable Generation Program. For more details on these elements of the plan, please refer to the Draft Plan here.

Statutory Process

The IPA is accepting public comments on the Draft Plan for 45 days. Comments must be submitted to Mario Bohorquez, Planning and Procurement Bureau Chief, at mario.bohorquez@illinois.gov by November 13, 2017.

In addition to accepting public comments on the Draft Plan until November 13, 2017, the IPA will host three public hearings to accept in-person public comments. The dates and locations of these meetings are as follows:

  • Thursday, October 26, 2017, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm CT: Illinois Commerce Commission Springfield Office, 527 East Capital Ave, Springfield, Illinois. Hearing Room C.
  • Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm CT: Illinois Commerce Commission Chicago Office, 160 North LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois. Room N808.
  • Friday, November 3, 2017, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm CT: MidAmerican Moline Customer Office, 716 17th Street, Moline, Illinois.

The IPA has 21 days following the end of the 45-day comment period to revise the Draft Plan and to file the Plan with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). Based on the timeline presented by the IPA, April 3, 2018 is the deadline for the ICC to enter its order confirming or modifying the Plan. Please refer to the IPA Cover Letter and Hearing Notice for a full overview of the statutory deadlines and timeline.

Adjustable Block Program Overview

The Adjustable Block Program (ABP) features capacity-based blocks set at pre-determined prices for 15-year REC contracts. Key elements of the ABP model include the following, which are detailed in turn:

  1. Project Eligibility
  2. Program Administration & Application
  3. Block Structure & Transition between Blocks
  4. REC Target & Allocation
  5. Pricing
  6. Contract Payment Terms
  7. Performance Assurance & Delivery Requirements

Project Eligibility

There are two types of “new” projects that are eligible for the ABP. “New” is defined in the Draft Plan as “energized on or after June 1, 2017”.

The two project types are:

  1. Photovoltaic distributed renewable energy generation devices (i.e., DG solar); and
  2. Photovoltaic community renewable generation projects (i.e., community solar)

DG solar must be Illinois-sited and interconnected, behind-the-meter, and less than or equal to 2,000 kW AC. Refer to Section 2.5.1.1 of the Draft Plan for full project eligibility requirements.

Section 6.12.1 of the Draft Plan sets forth additional technical system requirements, including system documentation and metering requirements.

Program Administration & Application

The IPA will conduct an RFP for a Program Administrator to run the day-to-day operations of the Adjustable Block Program. The Program Administrator responsibilities will include program and contract management, application review and approval, providing program information for the public, and more.

Participation in the ABP “will take place through, and conditional upon, an Approved Vendor process” proposed by the IPA. Approved Vendors will be required to meet certain criteria and agree to certain terms set forth in the Draft Plan. The use of Approved Vendors will ensure program efficiency and protect Illinois consumers from “bad actors”.

Approved Vendors will submit projects bundled into batches of at least 100 kW and up to 2 MW. Once an Approved Vendor has successfully submitted five batches, the minimum size of a batch for that Approved Vendor will increase to 250 kW. However, the IPA sets forth special exemptions for minority-owned and female-owned businesses. For each project, there will be a non-refundable application fee of $10 per kW, not to exceed $5,000.

Once approved, each batch will result in one contract with one utility. That is, a batch of systems will be contracted with one utility on a portfolio basis. However, the price for the RECs for each system within a batch will be based on the price available within the applicable block on the date of the submittal (see sections below for more on blocks, categories, and pricing). In addition to the non-refundable application fee, there are collateral requirements. See below for information regarding contracting credit requirements.

Project Development Timeline and Extensions

It is not required that projects be energized or interconnected at the time of application. However, all projects will be subject to the following timelines and extensions (based on the contract execution date):

  • DG projects: one year to be developed and energized
  • Community solar projects: 18 months to be developed and energized and to demonstrate that they have sufficient subscribers

The IPA sets forth certain permissible extensions under Section 6.15.2.

Block Structure & Transition between Blocks

Each block will be for a specified quantity of nameplate capacity with a specific REC price. When a block reaches its subscription capacity, projects will be eligible for the next block and its block price.

For each Block 1 as summarized in the table below, all projects submitted within 60 days of the program opening date will be included in that Block 1, regardless of subscription to the block.

For subsequent blocks, each block will be held open for 14 days after the block is fully subscribed. The IPA will announce when a block has been filled and when the closing date will be.

REC Target & Allocation

The initial REC target for the ABP is to have 1,000,000 RECs delivered annually by the end of the 2020-2021 delivery year (i.e., May 31, 2021). Based on a blended 17% capacity factor, this amounts to roughly 666 MW of new photovoltaic generation. However, the IPA notes in its Draft Plan that this goal is not a cap and that, subject to demand and budget constraints, there is potential for additional capacity.

The blocks will be divided into two groups by service territory/geographic category and then further allocated by project category as follows:

Block Groups
  • Group A: for projects located in the service territories of Ameren Illinois, Mt. Carmel Public Utility, and rural electric cooperatives.
  • Group B: for projects located in the service territories of ComEd, MidAmerican, and municipal utilities.
Project Category Allocations

Section 1-75(c)(1)(K) of the Act requires a 25% each allocation for four categories:

  1. DG PV systems less than or equal to 10 kW (“Small systems”);
  2. DG PV systems greater than 10 kW and up to 2,000 kW (“Large systems”);
  3. PV community solar; and
  4. remainder to be allocated by the IPA.

Since it is too soon for the IPA to appropriately allocate the “remainder” category in any other manner, the IPA will distribute the 25% remainder amount evenly, for an allocation of 33.3% in each category 1-3. The IPA will revisit, review and reallocate the 25% remainder amount as needed in the Plan Update.

Accordingly, the 666 MW allocation is summarized by the IPA as follows:

Illustrative Block Opening Volumes (MW)

Capacity Factors

The IPA set a 16.4177% capacity factor for fixed-mount systems and a 19.3149% capacity factor for tracking systems. Accordingly, the estimated REC production would be as follows:

  • Fixed-Mount Systems: 21 RECs over 15 years per 1 kW AC
  • Tracking Systems: 25 RECs over 15 years per 1 kW AC

Pricing

The IPA adapted its REC Pricing Model from the CREST model developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The IPA modified the CREST model’s “input assumptions and post processing of the results.” IPA cautions in its Draft Plan that the prices summarized in the table below “should be viewed as preliminary in nature and not necessarily the prices that will be offered once programs launch, and parties should not take actions in reliance on the availability of these preliminary proposed incentive levels.” Parties can review, explore and comment on the data used, assumptions made, and the REC Pricing Model itself through the public comment process.

Block Group REC Prices ($/REC)

For systems in the Large DG PV and Community Solar categories, the IPA set a base price for each category at the >500 kW – 2,000 kW level with adders to differentiate the price for RECs from different sized systems, as summarized above. The IPA proposes these adders in lieu of sub-dividing project categories by project size or type. Adders are discussed in further detail in Section 6.5 (Tables 6-3 and 6-4) of the Draft Plan.

As shown in the table above, REC prices will step down by 4% in each block after Block 1. However, the IPA will monitor performance during the blocks and may modify the price step-down based upon the speed at which each block is filled.

Contract Payment Terms

For systems that are accepted into the ABP with an executed contract for 15 years of REC deliveries, payment will be made as follows:

  • Full Prepayment for DG systems of no more than 10 kW, paid “at the time that the facility producing the [RECs] is interconnected … and energized.”
  • 5-Year Payment Term for systems larger than 10 kW and community solar projects, with 20% paid at the time of interconnection and energization and the remaining portion “paid ratably over the subsequent 4-year period.”

The standard for “energized” as it applies to contract payment is the “completion of the interconnection approval by the local utility and the registration of the system in GATS or M-RETS so that generation data can be tracked and RECs created.”

Performance Assurance & Delivery Requirements

The Draft Plan sets forth certain credit and delivery requirements to manage performance over the life of the contracts. The Approved Vendor will be required to post collateral equivalent to 10% of the total contract value when each Batch’s contract is approved.

The collateral amount will be maintained for the life of the batch contract, but can be reduced in the later years of the contract when the collateral amount exceeds the remaining value of the contract. This requirement will be maintained at the portfolio level, not the individual system level, to manage the risk of systems that under-perform or have other issues, balanced against projects that over-perform. Under certain conditions, failure to deliver RECs will result in the utility drawing on the collateral to be compensated for undelivered RECs.

Next Steps

SRECTrade intends to participate in the continued statutory process set forth above, and plans to participate in the ABP as an Approved Vendor in a capacity similar to its role in the SPV and DG procurements.

The IPA issued an Errata on the Draft Plan on 10/06/17, which is available here. The Block Group REC Prices ($/REC) table in this post has been updated to reflect these corrected prices.

IL 2017 DG Procurement Round Two – Webinar

Posted August 21st, 2017 by SRECTrade.

Earlier today, SRECTrade hosted a webinar covering the upcoming IL 2017 DG Procurement Round Two, including requirements for applying facilities, IPA and SRECTrade fees, bidding mechanics, and the SRECTrade application process.

SRECTrade’s application window for Round Two is open from today, Monday, August 21st to Friday, September 8th at 5:00pm CDT.

Please feel free to reference the IL DG Procurement Fall 2017 Application Instructions HERE.

For access to the presentation slides, please click HERE. To view a video recording of the webinar, please click the image below.

This document and recording is protected by copyright laws and contains material proprietary to SRECTrade, Inc. It or any components may not be reproduced, republished, distributed, transmitted, displayed, broadcast or otherwise exploited in any manner without the express prior written permission of SRECTrade, Inc. The receipt or possession of this document does not convey any rights to reproduce, disclose, or distribute its contents, or to manufacture, use, or sell anything that it may describe, in whole or in part. If consent to use these materials is granted, a link to the current version of this document on the SRECTrade website must be included for reference.

IL 2017 DG Procurement Round Two Webinar

Posted August 15th, 2017 by SRECTrade.

SRECTrade, Inc. will be hosting a webinar covering the upcoming IL 2017 DG Procurement Round Two on Monday, August 21st, at 1:00pm CST. The October procurement round is the second of two rounds scheduled for 2017.

To register for the webinar, please click HERE.

Our application window for Round Two is open from Monday, August 21st to Friday, September 8th at 5:00pm CDT.

For more information on the upcoming procurement round beforehand, please visit our blog post on the topic here.

SRECTrade at the Environmental Markets Association – Chicago Round Table: Illinois RPS Update

Posted July 7th, 2017 by SRECTrade.

On June 21, 2017, members of the SRECTrade team attended the Environmental Markets Association (EMA) round table event in Chicago.   The event featured presentations and discussions on a variety of environmental issues and new developments in Illinois environmental markets.   SRECTrade’s Manager of Business Development and Operations, Tom MacKenty was invited to speak about the new IL RPS and upcoming Adjustable Block Program.

Tom’s full presentation can be viewed HERE

While there are many details about the RPS and Adjustable Block Program forthcoming, SRECTrade has been actively monitoring the progress and posting information as it has become available.  A recent SRECTrade blog post with an outline of the program can be found HERE.

We will continue to provide updates as the rule making proceeds. As always, please feel free to reach out to us if you have specific questions.

SRECTrade Attends IPA’s 2017 RPS Workshops

Posted May 30th, 2017 by SRECTrade.

On May 17th and 18th, SRECTrade attended the Illinois Power Agency’s Renewable Resources Workshops. These workshops centered around the state’s new RPS and its components, including the Adjustable Block Program, Community Solar incentives, and the Illinois Solar For All Programs.

Overview of the New Illinois RPS and the Long-Term Renewable Resources Plan

The new RPS moves to a single compliance regime rather than having separate mechanisms for customers serviced by the alternative retail electricity suppliers (ARES). Under the old RPS, this retail choice lead to budget and target uncertainties. The goal of the new RPS will still be 25% renewables by 2025, but this target will now apply to all retail sales. The Future Energy Jobs Act, Public Act 099-0906, was signed into law on December 6, 2016 and can be read here.

The new law will take effect on June 1, 2017. Please see below for a draft timeline for the implementation of the RPS programs, as provided by the IPA in its Overview presentation:

il-rps-implementation-timeline

Under the new RPS, Illinois is moving away from structured procurements for non-utility scale solar. Projects up to and including 2 MW in size will instead be eligible for participation in the new RPS’ Adjustable Block Program, or ABP, which will provide for 15-year REC contracts.

Key components of the ABP are:

  • Blocks have set sizes and prices that adjust between blocks, which the IPA may review
  • Eligible systems are those energized after June 1, 2017 (emphasis on new projects)
  • Transparent, upfront schedule of REC prices
  • 15 year REC contracts
    • Paid upfront and in full for systems 10 kW and below
    • 20% of contract price paid at interconnection/energization and the remaining portion paid over subsequent 4 year period for systems 10 kW-2 MW (DG or community)
  • The utility will be the counterparty to the executed contracts

The goal of the ABP is to ensure that solar projects are developed in diverse locations and that they are not overly concentrated. The IPA has yet to determine the number, size, categories, and prices of blocks as well as the application, contracting and delivery process. These issues will be resolved during the implementation process.

Community Solar

Community Solar will operate as a subset of the ABP with similar features and the same goal. Under community solar, an electric generating facility credits the value of electricity generated to the subscribers of the facility. A subscriber has a subscription of no less than 200 watts to a community renewable generation project and may total no more than 40% of the nameplate capacity of an individual project. At a high level, the provision for Community Solar Projects will mirror those for larger DG systems, but may differ in project development and application requirements.

Illinois Solar for All Programs

The goal of the Illinois Solar for All Programs is to bring solar PV to low-income communities in Illinois. The programs are distinct but will share aspects with the Adjustable Block Program for DG and Community Solar. The four programs are as followed:

  1. Low-Income Distributed Generation Incentive (22.5%)
  2. Low-Income Community Solar Project Initiative (37.5%)
  3. Incentives for Non-Profits and Public Facilities (15%)
  4. Low-Income Community Solar Pilot Projects (25%)

SRECTrade will continue to participate in the implementation proceedings for the new RPS. In addition, SRECTrade will server as an aggregator in the Fall 2017 DG Procurement. You can see the results from the Spring Utility DG Procurement here.

Illinois Spring 2017 Utility DG Procurement Results

Posted May 4th, 2017 by SRECTrade.

In April 2017, SRECTrade participated in the Spring round of the Illinois 2017 Utility Distributed Generation Procurement. SRECTrade was among the six winning suppliers of the 5-year REC contracts awarded through the Spring 2017 Utility DG Procurement. A summary of average winning bid prices and number of RECs can be found below.  Please note that the number of RECs quoted by the IPA is in annual quantities. For the Illinois Power Agency’s official announcement of the results, please click here.

il-dg-rd1-2017-results_v2

The IPA procured 97,745 RECs during the Spring round, which fulfilled 70% of the 2017 procurement target (138,510 RECs over five years). The remaining volume of 40,765 RECs will be available for the Fall round.

SRECTrade will also be participating in this year’s Fall Utility DG Procurement, and we will publish application and bid details within the coming months.

IL 2017 DG Procurement Round One – Webinar

Posted March 8th, 2017 by SRECTrade.

Earlier today, SRECTrade hosted a webinar covering the upcoming IL 2017 DG Procurement Round One, including requirements for applying facilities, IPA and SRECTrade fees, bidding and block grouping mechanics, and the SRECTrade application process.

SRECTrade’s application window for Round One is open from Monday, March 20th to Monday, April 3rd.

Please feel free to reference the IL DG Procurement Spring 2017 Application Instructions HERE.

For access to the presentation slides, please click HERE. To view a video recording of the webinar, please click the image below.

This document and recording is protected by copyright laws and contains material proprietary to SRECTrade, Inc. It or any components may not be reproduced, republished, distributed, transmitted, displayed, broadcast or otherwise exploited in any manner without the express prior written permission of SRECTrade, Inc. The receipt or possession of this document does not convey any rights to reproduce, disclose, or distribute its contents, or to manufacture, use, or sell anything that it may describe, in whole or in part. If consent to use these materials is granted, a link to the current version of this document on the SRECTrade website must be included for reference.

IL 2017 DG Procurement Round One Webinar

Posted March 3rd, 2017 by SRECTrade.

SRECTrade, Inc. will be hosting a webinar covering the upcoming IL 2017 DG Procurement Round One on Wednesday, March 8th, at 1:00pm CST. The April procurement round is the first of two rounds scheduled for 2017.

To register for the webinar, please click HERE.

SRECTrade will be participating in both procurement rounds in 2017. Our application window for Round One is open from Monday, March 20th to Monday, April 3rd.

For more information on the upcoming procurement rounds beforehand, please visit our blog post on the topic here.

ICC Issues Final Order on IPA’s 2017 Procurement Plan

Posted December 15th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

On December 13, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) issued its Final Order on the Illinois Power Agency’s (IPA) 2017 Procurement Plan. The 2017 Procurement Plan, which will include two DG procurement events, will govern the final series of procurements held under Illinois’ existing RPS provisions, before the state transitions to its new RPS.

The Plan calls for two DG procurement events, with an allocated $40 million budget for the procurement of an estimated 20 MW of DG resources. The DG procurements under the Plan will be unique from previous DG procurements in that the IPA will allow for speculative bids for systems under 25kW for the first time. This change, made in light of the success of the IL SPV Procurement Plan and in response to public support, is combined with a reduced $4/REC letter of credit for both identified and speculative systems.

The DG procurements will be for 5-year REC contracts for systems under 25kw (“small”) and systems 25kW – 2MW (“large”), with a 50:50 procurement split between small and large systems. Any such new and existing systems interconnected with Ameren, ComEd, MidAmerican (Illinois service territory only), Mount Carmel, Illinois municipal utilities or rural co-ops are eligible to participate in the procurement, including “speculative” (unidentified) projects. There is a 1 MW “bid minimum”, and RECs will need to be offered at a single, blended REC price per bid. Interested participants are encouraged to bid through aggregators in order to meet the 1 MW “bid minimum”.

Speculative systems will have nine months to identify systems, and all systems will have between nine months and one year from identification to commence delivery, depending on the system type.

The timing of the DG procurement event rounds will be contingent upon the IPA’s determination regarding an April 2017 contingency procurement under the SPV Plan and other factors. The final version of the 2017 Procurement Plan and future updates on the Plan will be posted on the IPA’s website here.