United States: Illinois Renewable Resources Procurement Plan Aims To Boost Renewable Energy Development

On September 29, 2017, the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) released its Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (Plan) to implement renewable energy goals set forth in Illinois's Future Energy Jobs Act, which went into effect on June 1. Together, the new legislation and the Plan, among other things, make significant modifications to Illinois's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) goal of 25 percent of retail electricity sales sourced from renewable energy by 2025. The Plan sets forth procurement programs designed to meet the state's annual RPS targets until 2030 and will be updated at least every two years. These changes significantly expand renewable energy development opportunities in Illinois—by some estimates, leading to the addition of approximately 1,300 megawatts (MW) of new wind and nearly 3,000 MW of new solar capacity by 2030.

Expanding the Illinois RPS

While maintaining the same 25 percent renewable energy sourcing goal, the Future Energy Jobs Act functionally increases the state's RPS target because Illinois's RPS standard previously applied only to customers buying power through a utility's default service, not customers taking supply through alternative retail suppliers or through hourly pricing. According to the IPA, in recent years, only 30-50 percent of potentially eligible retail customer load actually received default supply services, while competitive class customers (including larger commercial and industrial customers, which represent approximately half of total load) had no default supply option. Given this transition, meeting Illinois's RPS goal of 13 percent of retail electric sales in the state sourced from renewable energy for the 2017–2018 delivery year will require the IPA to procure on behalf of the state's electric utilities an additional 7.5 million renewable energy credits (RECs), which will gradually increase to a forecasted procurement of 31.5 million RECs for the 2030–2031 delivery year. One REC represents 1 megawatt hour (MWh) of generation produced by an "eligible renewable resource." Eligible resources include wind, solar, thermal energy, biodiesel, anaerobic digestion, biomass, tree waste, landfill gas and some hydropower. Many other states, including California and Massachusetts, utilize RECs to demonstrate compliance with the state's RPS program.

The Future Energy Jobs Act includes quantitative targets for the procurement of specific types of RECs to satisfy the state's RPS program. By the end of the 2020 delivery year (May 31, 2021), at least 2 million RECs must come from new wind projects and at least 2 million RECs must come from new solar projects. These targets increase to 3 million apiece by the end of the 2025 delivery year (May 31, 2026) and 4 million apiece by the end of the 2030 delivery year (May 31, 2031). Solar projects must be energized after June 1, 2017, to produce RECs to meet these targets. The IPA will be responsible for procuring RECs and will allocate the procurement costs to each of Illinois's three utilities based on the utilities' forecasted delivery volumes of electricity.

For new solar projects, at least half (e.g., one million RECs per year by the end of the 2020 delivery year) must come from distributed generation and community solar, at least 40 percent must come from utility-scale solar projects with at least 2 MW of capacity, at least 2 percent must come from non-community solar brownfield projects, and the remaining 8 percent will be allocated according to the IPA's discretion.

Distributed and Community Solar Procurement

New distributed generation and community solar projects will be procured using the Adjustable Block Program. This program sets an administratively determined price, adjusted in volumetric blocks, where a party seeking a REC contract knows the REC price in advance and has visibility into when and how that price may change. The block program's procurement of RECs is allocated by statute as 25 percent for distributed generation projects with a nameplate capacity of 10 kilowatts (kW) or less (e.g., residential solar), 25 percent for distributed generation projects with a nameplate capacity between 10 and 2,000 kW (e.g., residential and commercial-scale solar), 25 percent for community solar projects, and 25 percent left to the IPA's discretion, currently proposed to be allocated evenly between the three former categories. The blocks within the Adjustable Block Program are also divided by utility service territory.

When a block's capacity is filled, the next block will open at a new price, expected to be 4 percent less than the previous block. A solar project will receive the price of the block that is open at the time the project's application is submitted. The IPA's initial calculations of REC prices under the Adjustable Block Program are as follows:

The IPA warns that these initial prices are likely to change in the final version of its Plan. The IPA also has the authority to periodically review the amount of generation capacity available in each block and the purchase price for each block. The IPA estimates that meeting its 2020 delivery year goals will require approximately 666 MW of new solar generation capacity under the block program, which will be divided evenly among the blocks, according to the current proposal.

Contracts entered into through the Adjustable Block Program must be for a minimum of 15 years of REC deliveries. Payment for RECs will be made by the applicable electric utility, and the seller will deliver RECs to that utility. For distributed generation systems below 10 kW, the REC purchase price will be prepaid in full by the contracting utility when the facility is interconnected and energized. For larger distributed generation systems and community solar projects, 20 percent of the REC purchase price will be paid up front, and the remaining portion will be paid over the following four years.

Wind and Utility-Scale Solar Procurement

Wind and utility-scale and brownfield solar projects will be subject to a competitive procurement process. The IPA is in the process of conducting an initial forward procurement seeking 15 year REC delivery contracts for both wind and solar projects that will begin between June 1, 2019, and June 1, 2021. The IPA has already procured 1 million annual RECs from new wind projects and 200,000 annual RECs from new solar projects. The agency is planning additional rounds of the initial procurement to purchase another 800,000 RECs from utility-scale and brownfield site solar projects. These procurements will be concluded by May 31, 2018.

The IPA will conduct subsequent forward procurements seeking 15-year fixed price REC sales contracts. It will also use spot procurements to purchase RECs using single year contracts. Similar to past practices, the IPA will conduct competitive procurements based on price offers and locational priorities. The Future Energy Jobs Act, however, requires competitively procured RECs to meet certain public interest criteria that make it more difficult for generation resources located outside of Illinois to participate. The new legislation effectively eliminates the possibility that projects in states beyond those adjacent to Illinois could participate in Illinois's RPS program.

The Plan also includes the Illinois Solar for All Program, which provides incentives for low-income participation in solar projects, either as the system owner, a community solar subscriber or as a system host.

Next Steps

The comment period on the IPA's Plan ends November 13th. The IPA then has until December 4th to revise the Plan and file it with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) for approval. The ICC must approve or modify the Plan by April 3, 2018, at which point the programs will be put fully into effect. If the current Plan is put into effect, Illinois stands to add a significant amount of renewable generation in the upcoming years.

Illinois Renewable Resources Procurement Plan Aims to Boost Renewable Energy Development

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions