Author: Program Administrator

PUBLISHED FOR COMMENT: Second Draft of the Adjustable Block Program REC Delivery Contract

The Illinois Power Agency, through its Procurement Administrator and Adjustable Block Program (“ABP”) Administrator and in consultation with the Ameren Illinois Company, Commonwealth Edison Company, MidAmerican Energy Company, and the Staff of the Illinois Commerce Commission (as required by the Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan or “Plan”), has developed a second draft of its ABP REC Delivery Contract (“Second Draft Contract”), which takes into account comments received from stakeholders on the first draft of the ABP REC Contract previously published on December 7, 2018 (“First Draft Contract”).

Comments on this Second Draft Contract are due by 5:00 PM CPT on January 18, 2019 to comments@illinoisabp.com. Once finalized, this contract will serve as the standard contract form for the delivery of RECs under the ABP.   More information for stakeholders about changes in this draft and next steps in the contract development process can be found in the Second Draft Contract Announcement linked below.

Second Draft Contract Announcement (11 January 2019)

Second Draft REC Contract (11 January 2019)

Redline (reflects the differences between the First Draft Contract posted on 7 December 2018 and the Second Draft Contract posted on 11 January 2019)

Illinois Commerce Commission’s Staff Report on Batch Approval Available

Pursuant to Section 16-111.5(b)(5) of the Public Utilities Act and Section 6.14.6 of the Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan, the Staff of the Illinois Commerce Commission developed a Staff Report dated December 10, 2018 detailing the standards that the Commission will use in its review process for Adjustable Block Program project batches, along with the process and timing for this review.  The Commission approved this Staff Report at its Regular Open Meeting on December 19, 2018.  The Staff Report may be viewed here.

Update on Program Opening Date and REC Contract Development Process

The opening of the Adjustable Block Program for project applications will be postponed from January 15, 2019 to January 30, 2019. This postponement is to allow for additional time to refine the standard REC contract between Approved Vendors and the utilities.

 

A draft REC contract for the Program was released on December 7, 2018. Following two rounds of comments from stakeholders on that draft REC contract, as well as a webinar conducted on December 28, 2018, the Illinois Power Agency has now determined that the Program will benefit from the publication of a second draft REC contract followed by a stakeholder comment period focused on the revisions between the two drafts, prior to issuing a final version of the REC contract.  Several issues raised by stakeholders in comments, and during the webinar, on the first draft of the contract required careful deliberation by the Agency, the Program Administrator, the three involved electric utilities, and the Staff of the Illinois Commerce Commission, in order to calibrate the interests of the contractual parties and the requirements of the Program as directed by the Illinois General Assembly through the enactment of Public Act 99-0906, and the Illinois Commerce Commission through the approval of the Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan.  The Agency has considered the benefits and drawbacks of a minor delay and believes that an additional round of comments will ensure that any unintended consequences of new provisions and wordings in the second draft contract are identified and addressed prior to finalizing the contract.

 

As a result of this modification to the contract development process, the Agency is postponing the opening of the Program to project applications for a short period of time – to January 30, 2019.  The Agency appreciates that stakeholders have anticipated and planned for the projected January 15, 2019 application opening date since the Agency announced it in August of 2018.  However, it is crucial that the provisions of the REC delivery contract, which will govern 15-year relationships between Approved Vendors and utilities, accommodate the legitimate needs of the solar industry.  Additionally, the majority of stakeholder comment has favored a short extension of the Program’s application opening date to allow for further stakeholder feedback.  The short delay in the project application opening date will also allow solar developers additional time to consider the distributed generation installation contract requirements (which are currently under development and will be finalized during January) and to prepare and complete disclosure forms.

 

The Agency through the Program Administrator (in consultation with the utilities and the Staff of the Illinois Commerce Commission) is setting the following schedule for the remainder of the REC contract development process and the opening of the Adjustable Block Program to project applications:

 

  • Friday, January 11, 2019: Second Draft REC Contract will be released
  • Friday, January 18, 2019: Stakeholder comments on Second Draft REC Contract due
  • Monday, January 28, 2019: Final REC Contract will be released
  • Wednesday, January 30, 2019: Adjustable Block Program will open for project applications
  • Wednesday, February 13, 2019: Deadline for project applications/batches to be submitted in order to qualify for any required lottery in a Group/category combination

 

In response to stakeholder comment provided on December 19, 2018 and December 31, 2018, the Second Draft REC Contract to be released on January 11 will address the following key areas of concern; among others, these include:

 

  • Allowing for assignment at the Product Order or Transaction (i.e. batch) level; facilitating limited assignment of the REC contract to financing parties that are not Approved Vendors; limiting Buyer’s rights to deny assignment
  • Allowing for systems already energized at the time of contract execution to avoid posting 5% collateral and instead immediately exercise the option to have 5% of contract value held back as collateral
  • Clarifying calculation of the three-year rolling average for evaluating REC delivery performance
  • Adding additional flexibility on final system size compared to proposed system size
  • Clarifications regarding community solar projects: process for subscription reporting, flexibility on meeting full subscription levels, and ownership of RECs from unsubscribed shares of project
  • Additional corrections and editorial clarifications

 

The Second Draft REC Contract will reflect the consensus of the IPA, Program Administrator, Procurement Administrator, utilities, and ICC Staff in considering proposals contained in stakeholder comments. To the extent that any such proposals are not included in the Second Draft REC Contract, it should be understood that those comments were carefully considered, but not adopted.

Final Program Guidebook Released

The final program guidebook has been released by the IPA and the Program Administrator.

Please note that the standard REC contract between Approved Vendors and the Utilities is still in the stakeholder development process. Changes to the contract may require changes to sections of the guidebook to ensure consistency. Such changes would be handled per chapter 8 of the guidebook with an update, which would be published on the illinoisabp.com website with an email notification sent to all those on the illinoisabp.com mailing list. The version on the program guidebook posted on the Illinois ABP website will always be the latest version.

Also, please note that the final lottery procedures published on November 28, 2018 have been updated with some minor clerical corrections and a clarification of the application of the developer cap. The revised language is in the final program guidebook.

Draft Contract Requirements Released for Stakeholder Comment

Section 6.13 of the Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (“the Plan”) states that the IPA and its Program Administrator will develop “a list of contract requirements” to be provided to Approved Vendors. A draft list of contract requirements has now been released for stakeholder comment. The Program Administrator will accept comments on the draft contract requirements by email at comments@illinoisabp.com until January 7, 2018 at 5:00 PM CST.  

Recording of REC Contract Webinar Available

The recording of the REC Contract Webinar which was held on December 28, 2018 is now available. You can also download the presentation used during the webinar.

The IPA and its Program Administrator will be accepting a second round of comments on the contract; any such comments must be submitted by 5:00 PM Central Time on December 31, 2018. Comments should be sent to comments@illinoisabp.com.

The draft contract published for stakeholder comments on December 7, 2018 and comments received on the contract are available here.

Distributed Generation Disclosure Forms Released and Final Brochure Posted

The Distributed Generation disclosure forms are now live and accessible to Approved Vendors on the Illinois ABP website.  The final brochure and Program branding guide has also been released.

To access and complete the disclosure forms, Approved Vendors will need to login to their account on the Illinois ABP website and click on the ‘Vendors’ tab. Once there, click #3, ‘Consumer Disclosure Forms’. Please note there are four different disclosure forms available: system purchase disclosure form, PPA disclosure form, lease disclosure form, and over 25 kW disclosure form. Please be sure to select the appropriate form type before beginning a new disclosure form. Every completed disclosure form will create a Part I project application at the time the project application portal is live with all of the information from the disclosure form already prefilled, eliminating the need for duplicate data entry. Disclosure forms must be completed through the Illinois ABP website, without exception.

Approved Vendors can designate other entities to complete disclosure forms on their behalf using the ‘Manage Approved Vendor Designees’ function. In order to add an Approved Vendor Designee to your Vendor dashboard the designee must first create an account on the Illinois ABP Website. Once they have created an account they can be added to your dashboard through #4, ‘Manage Approved Vendor Designees’.

Detailed instructions on how to complete disclosure forms can be found here.

Additionally, the DG Marketing Guidelines at Section 22 on Page 9 and on Page 11 have been updated to state that the grandfathering process applies to systems energized prior to December 27, 2018 as opposed to November 26, 2018 since the brochure and disclosure forms were not available until December 27, 2018.

 

Adjustable Block Program Contract Stakeholder Webinar Friday, December 28, 2018 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Central Time

Adjustable Block Program Contract
Stakeholder Webinar
Friday, December 28, 2018
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Central Time

The purpose of this Webinar is to:

(1) Provide an overview and walkthrough of the Adjustable Block Program contract structure.
(2) Offer updates on the contract development process based on stakeholder comments on the draft contract.
(3) Answer written questions and offer clarifications about the draft contract document.

If you have questions for the Webinar that you would like to submit in advance, please email them to comments@illinoisabp.com by 5:00 PM Central Time on Thursday, December 27, 2018.

The IPA and its Program Administrator will also be accepting a second round of comments on the contract; any such comments must be submitted by 5:00 PM Central Time on December 31, 2018. Comments should be sent to comments@illinoisabp.com.

The draft contract published for stakeholder comments on December 7, 2018 and comments received on the contract are available here.

Participants can join the webinar at the following link:
https://zoom.us/j/732964800

Audio can be accessed through the webinar software or at
+1 646 558 8656 US
+1 720 707 2699 US
Meeting ID: 732 964 800

To automatically add this link to your calendar you can click:
Google Calendar – https://zoom.us/meeting/732964800/calendar/google/add
Outlook Calendar – https://zoom.us/meeting/732964800/ics

The Webinar will be recorded and posted to the Adjustable Block Program website.