Month: February 2020

Block Closing Protocol

On February 7, 2020, Group B Small DG Block 1 reached its capacity and the soft-close procedure for that Block was initiated and ended on February 21, 2020. Please see the February 7, 2020 announcement and the February 22, 2020 announcement for more details.

With the approval of the Agency’s Revised Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (“Revised Long-Term Plan”) by the Illinois Commerce Commission on February 18, 2020, the procedure for subsequent closing of blocks has changed. For Group A Small DG Block 1 (and for Groups A and B Small DG Block 2), the soft-close period is now seven days rather than fourteen.

For Groups A and B Large DG Block 4 (and Groups A and B Small DG Block 3) a new closing protocol is now in effect. Rather than a soft-close period, blocks will close when the block volume is filled, and any projects submitted after that time will be put on a first-come/first-served waitlist for the Group/category, pending an analysis of available funds and the verification of the eligibility of projects that applied to the Program prior to them.

The details of how this protocol will be implemented include:

  1. On the calendar day that an application is submitted whose capacity meets or exceeds the remaining capacity in Large DG Block 4 or Small DG Block 3 for a given Group, any project applications received on or prior to 11:59 PM Central Prevailing Time that day that exceed the remaining capacity of that block will be selected until a 5 MW cap is reached. For the application that crosses the 5 MW cap, the entire project will be allocated Block 4 pricing, with all subsequently submitted applications placed on an ordinal waitlist. If the application that crosses the 5 MW cap is part of a multiple-project batch in which all projects in that batch are time-stamped as having been submitted at the same time, such that the determination of which individual application in that batch was the one that crossed the 5 MW cap is not possible, the Approved Vendor may select which applications within that batch will remain under the 5 MW cap, with the remaining applications in that batch placed on the waitlist for that Group/category. (The Revised Long-Term Plan includes a change to the Part I submittal process that will be implemented in approximately one month. It will allow for the submittal of Part I applications as projects rather than batches for Approved Vendors that already have an ICC-approved batch. This protocol will be updated at that time.)
  2. As early as practicable on the following business day after a block’s capacity has been met or exceeded by a submitted application, the Program Administrator will post an announcement at illinoisabp.com and email both the Approved Vendors and the illinoisabp.com mailing list that the capacity for that block was met, on which date it was met, and that all applications submitted after that date will be placed on a waitlist once their application fee has been received by the Program Administrator.
  3. An Approved Vendor that submitted an application and initiated its application fee after the final block of a Group/category has reached capacity, but before the announcement of block closure, may request, within 10 business days after application submittal, removal from the waitlist and a refund of the application fee for the submitted application(s).
  4. Consistent with current practice, an application is considered submitted and eligible for Program Administrator review, as well as eligible to maintain its position on a waitlist, only with the Program Administrator’s receipt of the application fee within 10 business days following application submittal.
  5. In the case of newly available capacity resulting from a withdrawal from the Program (such as a project application that had been allocated to a block being found ineligible), an application will be selected off of the waitlist in the order of application submittal provided that sufficient capacity ahead of that application has withdrawn to accommodate the entire project.
  6. As soon as practicable, the Program Administrator will notify an Approved Vendor when an application that it has submitted is selected off the waitlist. The Block Capacity Dashboard on the Program website will be updated daily with the most recent total capacity of applicant projects present on a Group/category’s waitlist.
  7. Applications that are submitted with payment after the closure of a block has been announced will be added to the waitlist for that Group/category combination in order of application submittal. If a project is accepted off the waitlist prior to a future block opening (Block 5 for Large DG, Block 4 for Small DG) it will receive a REC price at the price of the last open block.

Group B Small DG Block 1 closed

Group B Small DG Block 1 is closed as of February 21, 2020 at 11:59 PM Central Prevailing Time and Group B Small DG Block 2 is now open.

The Program Administrator announced on February 7, 2020 that Group B Small DG Block 1 had reached capacity. Per Section 1(C)(3)(b) of the Program Guidebook, this Block was held open for an additional 14 calendar days.  Any Group B Small DG applications submitted as part of a paid batch on or prior to February 21, 2020 at 11:59 PM Central Prevailing Time were allocated to Block 1, and thus will receive Block 1 pricing, provided that the application fee is paid within 10 business days following batch submittal. Any Group B Small DG applications submitted as part of a paid batch after that time will be allocated to Block 2.

The capacity allocated to Block 1 during this 14-day soft-close period impacts the capacity available for Block 2. Any applications submitted as part of a paid batch during the soft-close period that exceed the original 52 MW capacity of Group B Small DG Block 1 will be deducted from the original capacity of 52 MW for Group B Small DG Block 2. For example, if an additional 2 MW of capacity is allocated during the soft-close period (for a total of 54 MW of Block 1 capacity), Group B Small DG Block 2 will have an opening capacity of 50 MW, not the original capacity of 52 MW.

The Program Administrator will make a subsequent announcement with the preliminary calculation of the capacity available for Group B Small DG Block 2, factoring in the capacity allocated to Block 1 during its 14-day soft-close period. The final calculation of the opening capacity of Group B Small DG Block 2 will not be known until at least 10 business days have passed from the closure of Block 1. The Program Administrator will announce the opening capacity available for Group B Small DG Block 2 at that time. Capacity allocated to projects in Group B Small DG Block 1 that are subsequently withdrawn will be added to Group B Small DG Block 2 capacity.

Group B Small DG Block 1 capacity reached

The Illinois Power Agency (“IPA”) and Program Administrator announce that Block 1 for the Group B, Small Distributed Generation (“DG”) project category (i.e. DG projects up to and including 10 kW) has been filled. Block 1 will remain open for 14 days per the Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan’s “soft closing” provision that blocks will be “held open until the later of (i) 45 calendar days after opening, or (ii) when the block is filled (in which case the block would be held open for an additional 14 additional calendar days after it is filled).” This can also be found in Section 1(C)(3)(b) of the Program Guidebook.

Any Group B Small DG applications submitted as part of a paid batch on or prior to February 21, 2020 at 11:59 PM Central Prevailing Time will be allocated to Block 1, provided that the application fee is paid within 10 business days following batch submittal. Once the 14-day window of the soft closing has concluded, Block 1 will be considered closed and Block 2 will open. Any Group B Small DG applications submitted as part of a paid batch after February 21, 2020 at 11:59 PM Central Prevailing Time will be allocated to Block 2 and if approved will receive Block 2 REC pricing.

The Program Administrator will make another announcement on the date of the opening of Block 2 for Group B Small DG.

Please note that this protocol will be followed by the Program Administrator if Group A Small DG category also reaches capacity on or before February 18, 2020, on which date the Illinois Power Agency’s Revised Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan will be approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission (“ICC”). Starting on February 19, 2020, the block closing process will be governed by the IPA’s Revised Plan (see Section 6.3.2) as approved by the ICC.

Waiver of customer email requirement for disclosure forms

In December 2019 the Illinois Power Agency and the Program Administrator announced that they would implement a change to the requirement for a customer email address on Adjustable Block Program Disclosure Forms. This announcement communicated that the requirement to include a customer email address on Adjustable Block Program Disclosure Forms may be waived subject to the condition that a Disclosure Form submitted to the Program without a customer email address must be accompanied by a signed standard waiver. The waiver verifying that the customer does not have an email address must be signed with wet signatures in order for the waiver to be accepted by the Program Administrator.

This standard waiver has been published to the Program website and also can be downloaded from the Additional Terms and Disclosures section of the Disclosure Form entry screen if the customer email field is left blank. If the Approved Vendor elects to include a waiver for the customer email address requirement while entering Disclosure Form information into the ABP portal, the standard waiver must be completed, wet-signed by the customer, the Approved Vendor, and the Designee (if applicable), and uploaded to the Additional Terms and Disclosures section of the Disclosure Form entry screen in the ABP portal in order to submit the Disclosure Form.