The Illinois Commerce Commission has announced the release of a Notice of Inquiry Report on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The Report summarizes information collected by the state’s regulated utilities and other stakeholders about which federal grants, loans, assistance, and programs under IIJA they may be eligible, and intend to apply. It also sought input on ways the ICC and the State of Illinois can help them to secure these federal resources.
The IIJA provides for approximately $500 billion in federal funding for infrastructure improvements including public utility infrastructure such as electric generation, clean energy transmission and deployment, electric vehicle infrastructure, grid reliability, energy efficiency, and access to clean water and cybersecurity.
“As we work to implement the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) here in Illinois and move toward a cleaner, more modernized grid, the ICC is encouraging the utilities to take advantage of these federal dollars wherever possible to keep costs down for ratepayers,” said ICC Chairman Carrie Zalewski. “Within the report, the regulated utilities and other stakeholders identified funding opportunities that might be suitable to help Illinois achieve its zero-emission goals and pledged to continue to monitor and evaluate additional funding opportunities, requirements and processes.”
“Federal funds are available through the IIJA to help states like Illinois to improve energy efficiency programs, expand the deployment of electric vehicles, prevent outages, and protect the grid from cyberattacks. We expect this report will prompt more collaboration and coordination among the utilities, industry and trade groups, state agencies and other stakeholders to maximize efforts to obtain these funds,” said Commissioner Ann McCabe.
Participants in the NOI included: Ameren Illinois Company (AIC); Aqua Illinois, Inc. (AQUA); ChargePoint; Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd); EdgeEnergy: Elevate; Energy Efficiency for All (EFFA, a group composed of Elevate, MEEA, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and People for Community Recovery); EVgo Services, LLC (EVgo); Illinois American Water Company (IAWC); Laborers International Union -Midwest (LiUNA); Liberty Midstates Gas (Liberty); LineVision, Inc, (LineVision); Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA); Northern Illinois Gas Company (PGL-NSG); SOO Green HVDC Link (SGHL); and the Indiana-Illinois-Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting (IIIFC).
“We appreciate everyone who took the time to participate in this NOI. This report is very useful to us as regulators and will be helpful to policymakers and the utilities as well. There is a great deal of competition among the states, and we want to make sure Illinois receives its fair share of these federal dollars and money is not being left behind,” said Commissioner Michael T. Carrigan.
In the report, it’s noted that many of the federal programs have not yet been released by the various federal departments or only recently released program details and requirements. Some NOI participants suggested, and the ICC Staff concurred, that public utilities should continue to monitor IIJA opportunities and report to the ICC on the status of potential applications or deployment of funds received, and to have such reports posted on the ICC website.
The 22-NOI-01 Report and the information submitted by the parties are available for review under the heading NOI Schedule and Submissions on the Commission website at 22-NOI-01 (illinois.gov)