Posts Tagged ‘Illinois’

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:

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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.

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.

Illinois Passes New RPS, Comprehensive Energy Package

Posted December 2nd, 2016 by SRECTrade.

Following a whirlwind revival and numerous amendments, both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly voted late on Thursday to pass a comprehensive energy bill to address the state’s RPS, energy efficiency programs, net metering, nuclear plants, and more. SB 2814, the Future Energy Jobs Bill, is a product of nearly two years of negotiations between utilities, renewable energy stakeholders, environmental advocates, ratepayer advocates, and others. The 440-plus page bill underwent nearly 30 rounds of changes before passing 63-38 in the House and 32-18 in the Senate on the final day of the General Assembly’s veto session.

The energy package includes a sizable bail-out for Exelon’s struggling nuclear power plants–providing $235 million a year to Exelon for 13 years to keep the plants up and running. In return, the adjustment will allow Exelon’s utility subsidiary, Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) to spend roughly $400 million a year on energy efficiency programs. Costs to consumers will be capped at 1.3% over 2015 rates for business classes, and at 25 cents per month for ComEd’s residential customers.

In addition to the nuclear bail-out and energy efficiency programs, the Future Energy Jobs Bill will reform the state’s RPS policy. While Illinois’ RPS target will remain at 25% by 2025, the bill provides for new community solar, low-income, and brownfield solar targets. Distributed generation (DG) will be incentivized through an adjustable block incentive program, which will allow DG facilities to receive upfront REC payments in a 15-year contract with the Illinois Power Agency.

Thanks to the advocacy of the solar industry, ComEd’s proposed demand charge was eliminated from the final version of the bill, and retail net metering rates will be preserved with grandfathering up to a 5% statutory cap. Once the cap is hit, net metering rates will be replaced through a commission process to establish fair DG compensation based on locational grid value.

Governor Bruce Rauner (R) has already announced his support of the heavily negotiated bill. After Gov. Rauner signs the bill, it will take effect on June 1, 2017.

The Future of SRECs in Illinois – What Happens after the IL SPV Program?

Posted March 9th, 2016 by SRECTrade.

With the third and final round of the Illinois Supplemental Photovoltaic (SPV) Procurement Program under way, stakeholders are pondering what lies ahead for Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) in the State of Illinois. The bid for the Spring 2016 SPV Procurement Program (Round 3) will take place on March 31, 2016. The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) will issue its final decision on the results of the Procurement on or before April 6, 2016, when we will learn whether the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) spent the entire $15 million allocated for the final round. SRECTrade will publish another blog post with the results of the third round shortly after the ICC releases its decision.

For the Illinois SPV Procurement Program, the State appropriated $30 million of the Renewable Energy Resources Fund (RERF) to procure SRECs from solar photovoltaic (PV) systems energized on or after January 21, 2015. The $30 million budget was divided between the three procurement program rounds, with $5 million allocated for the first round, $10 million allocated for the second round, and $15 million allocated for the third round. The funds appropriated for each of the first two rounds were fully expended by the IPA.

What will happen next for Illinois remains indefinite. If the IPA awards $15 million worth of contracts in the final round, it is uncertain whether there will be a need for a fourth contingency event to take place in Spring 2017. Once the SPV Procurement Program comes to a close, the future of Illinois SRECs will once again destabilize. Although there is potential that solar PV facility owners could participate in other statewide Procurements, there is no long-term certainty for in-state SREC sales, as was made available by the SPV Program. Even more uncertain is whether the Illinois General Assembly will take up any energy bills this year to institute long-term solutions, either before or after the budget for FY2016 is adopted.

SRECTrade encourages PV facility owners in the ComEd utility service territory to apply for the Pennsylvania SREC market. Solar PV facility owners and installers may submit an online application to sell their SRECs in Pennsylvania by creating an SRECTrade account on our home page, and submitting an application for a new facility.

Please feel free to visit our Illinois and Pennsylvania Markets pages for more information on the SREC markets in these states.

If you have any questions about the SPV Program, you can view our introduction webinar and slides online here. You can also email us at clientservices@srectrade.com, or call us at (415) 763-7732 ext 1. SRECTrade is also happy to address inquiries pertaining to our online application and the Pennsylvania SREC Market for Illinois facility owners and installers.

Illinois Supplemental PV Procurement Results – Round 2 November 2015

Posted November 23rd, 2015 by SRECTrade.

In November 2015, SRECTrade participated in the second round of the Illinois 2015 PV Procurement Program. SRECTrade was among the 11 winning suppliers of the 5-year SREC contracts awarded through the procurement program. For the IPA’s official announcement, click HERE.

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Illinois Supplemental PV Procurement Results – Round 1 June 2015

Posted July 10th, 2015 by SRECTrade.

In June 2015, SRECTrade participated in the first round of the Illinois 2015 PV Procurement Program. SRECTrade was among the 7 winning suppliers of the 5-year SREC contracts awarded through the procurement program. For the IPA’s official announcement, click HERE.

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Why Doesn’t Illinois have an SREC Market?

Posted August 25th, 2011 by SRECTrade.

The Illinois Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) has aggressive renewable energy goals. The RPS requires Investor-Owned Electric Utilities (EUs) and alternative retail electric suppliers (ARES) to have 25% of their electricity come from renewable resources by 2025, so why don’t we see a viable SREC market? Part of the story can be tied to anemic SREC incentives.

Within the 25% renewable requirement, 6% of the renewable energy procured from EUs and ARES must come from solar sources, with percentages starting lower, reaching 6% by 2016, and holding until 2025. This latest addition came into effect under HB 6202, the details of which can be seen here. The legislation goes into effect in June 2013, with incremental requirements leading up to 6% in June 2016. In order to meet this requirement, EUs and ARES are able to purchase Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) from private individuals and businesses throughout the mid-West and mid-Atlantic regions- not just from within Illinois.

A unique aspect of the Illinois RPS revolves around a forced alternative compliance payment (ACP), which states that ARES must meet 50% of their renewable quota by paying an ACP. This effectively divides the potential REC market in half as tradable RECs will only be utilized for 50% of the renewable quota. EUs and ARES can buy RECs from the PJM-GATS or M-RETS (Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System) tracking registries, or just pay the ACP fine.

It’s unlikely that the Illinois market will be attractive for the following two reasons:

1) The ACP currently covers all renewable fuel types. Current ACP rates for June 1, 2011 through May 31, 2012 are estimated to be approximately $0.058 per MWh, with a maximum value of $2.158/MWh. ACP rates vary by utility territory and more information can be found here. There isn’t a separate “carve-out” for solar with a higher ACP rate. This means that REC values are much lower than necessary to incentivize the solar market with RECs alone. For comparison New Jersey’s RY2012 Solar ACP (SACP) is $658 per SREC.

2) Utility companies may opt to meet their full solar requirement by paying the relatively low ACP fine for not complying, rather than meeting the other “optional” 50 % requirement by paying for SRECs.

Other options for Illinois sited solar systems:

Illinois systems are eligible to sell SRECs in Pennsylvania if their facility is located in an area served by Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) utility. Currently, selling their SRECs into the PA market provides the highest value for SRECs coming from IL (ComEd) facilities, with pricing in August 2011 at $25 per SREC. Solar systems that are located in all of Illinois were previously able to sell SRECs into the D.C. market, but recent legislation has made that option no longer possible.

Other incentives have been put in place to help catalyze the Illinois solar market, though several lack the necessary funding to allow for widespread solar adoption. The Illinois Solar Energy Association runs an annual Renewable Energy Credit Aggregation Program (RECAP) that allows qualified systems to sell SRECs to the ISEA at a fixed rate of $200/SREC. Unfortunately, this program has exhausted its funding and is only accepting wait list applications.  The state of Illinois also offers a special property tax assessment for properties with solar systems. Finally, the state Solar and Wind Rebate program offered a 30% rebate to residential and commercial systems and a 50% rebate for non-profit or commercial systems before closing its latest round of funding in December 2010.