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ICC approves IPA 2024 Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan

The Illinois Commerce Commission approved the Illinois Power Agency’s (IPA) 2024 Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (LTRRPP) last week, authorizing over $1.1 billion to procure new renewable generation in Illinois over the next two years. The procurement encourages investment in both utility-scale and community solar, utility-scale wind, hydropower, and other clean energy projects in Illinois. The Commission is required by statute to review the LTRRPP every two years.

“Ironing out the details in Illinois’ clean energy market can make the difference on whether a new clean energy project gets built. Expanding the types of solar projects that can participate in state programs and solidifying prevailing wage requirements are the types of considerations that can get new renewable energy online and help Illinois reach its decarbonization goals with equity in mind,” said ICC Chairman Doug Scott.

The 2024 plan includes the IPA’s proposed procurement of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for Ameren Illinois, Commonwealth Edison Company, and MidAmerican Energy Company for program years 2024-2025 and 2025-2026.

The LTRRPP specifically approves six procurement blocks under the Illinois Shines Program, which previously featured three project categories: small distributed generation (DG), large DG, and community solar. The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) expanded these categories to include public schools, community-driven solar projects, and projects from equity eligible contractors (EEC).

The Commission also approved five reforms proposed by the IPA to address the persistent issue of Group A small DG and large DG blocks filling up more quickly than those in Group B, primarily in the Ameren Illinois/MidAmerican service territories. The reforms are designed to maximize the ongoing development of clean energy projects in the state and will:

  1. Eliminate the distinction between Group A and Group B for the purposes of allocating capacity across both distributed generation categories,
  2. Increase the overall size of the Illinois Shines program from 667 MW to 800 MW annually,
  3. Adjust the prioritization for the reallocation of uncontracted capacity at the close of each annual Program Year,
  4. Prioritize the ability of DG projects to participate in the public schools and equity eligible contractor categories, and
  5. Implement a price adjustment cap to provide certainty around the REC price available to waitlisted projects.

The Commission’s final order includes several equity provisions to fairly direct the economic benefits from clean energy to low-income communities and those subject to disproportionate levels of pollution. To better connect these groups to the benefits of community solar projects, the Commission’s final order directs the IPA to initiate a stakeholder process on how to increase awareness and participation in the Illinois Solar For All program. The IPA is to propose enrollment solutions in its next LTRRPP.

The IPA is also required to hold a stakeholder workshop series discussing best practices for directing work and contractor opportunities with the Illinois Shines Program to communities historically excluded from the energy sector and those subject to disproportionate levels of pollution.

Notably, projects submitted to the Illinois Shines and Illinois Solar for All programs are subject to prevailing wage requirements, except those serving residential homes and select small capacity projects serving houses of worship. Utility-scale projects will also be subject to project labor agreement requirements covering all terms and conditions of employment on clean energy construction projects.

Read the Commission’s Final Order on the LTRRPP Plan here.

 

About the Illinois Commerce Commission

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) is a quasi-judicial body made up of five Commissioners. Through its Public Utility Program, the Commission oversees the provision of adequate, reliable, efficient, and safe utility services at the least possible cost to Illinois citizens served by electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, and sewer public utility companies. Through its Transportation Regulatory Program, the Commission oversees public safety and consumer protection programs with regard to intrastate commercial motor carriers of general freight, household goods movers, relocation towers, safety towers, personal property warehouses and repossession agencies. The Commission’s Rail Safety Program also inspects and regulates the general safety of railroad tracks, facilities and equipment in the state. 

To learn more about the Commission, its offices, and bureaus, click here. If you are a consumer who needs help resolving a utility dispute call 800-524-0795 or file an online complaint here. For a complaint related to transportation, call (217) 782-6448. Follow the Illinois Commerce Commission on social media @ILCommerceComm

 

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