Category: Approved Vendor

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.  

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.

 

Invitation to Comment on the Contract Form

On December 7, 2018, the Program Administrator posted to the www.illinoisabp.com website a draft of the Adjustable Block Program REC Contract (the “DRAFT REC Contract”). The DRAFT REC Contract is proposed to be the standard contract form for the Adjustable Block Program between each Approved Vendor and Ameren Illinois Company (“AIC”), Commonwealth Edison Company (“ComEd”) or MidAmerican Energy Company (“MEC”). Except as otherwise expressly set forth in the Draft REC Contract, the Draft REC Contract is governed by all the terms and conditions of the form of the agreement entitled “Master Renewable Energy Certificate Purchase and Sale Agreement,” which is attached thereto.

The Program Administrator invites interested parties to submit their comments on the DRAFT REC Contract. All comments received in accordance with the process outlined below will be reviewed by representatives from the IPA, the Program Administrator, AIC, ComEd, MEC, Staff of the ICC and NERA Economic Consulting. The timeline and process for interested parties to provide comments is as follows:

  • Please submit your comments on the DRAFT REC Contract by email to the Program Administrator at: comments@illinoisabp.com
  • Please provide telephone and email contact information in the event that the Program Administrator seeks clarification regarding your comments.
  • Each of your comments must be clearly indicated with tracked changes in Microsoft Word. We strongly encourage you to provide explanatory notes either in a separate document or highlighted in tracked changes.

The deadline to provide comments is 12 PM (Noon) Central Prevailing Time (“CPT”) on Wednesday, December 19, 2018.

Written comments submitted to the Program Administrator according to the process above and submitted prior to the deadline will be posted to the illinoisabp.com website and made publicly available. The Program Administrator will redact the name of the submitter but will not attempt to redact any information that may otherwise identify the submitter.

Please direct all questions to the Program Administrator at: admin@illinoisabp.com

 

Explanatory Notes

To facilitate the review of the Draft REC Contract by interested parties, we provide the following notes:

(a) The REC Contract contains eight exhibits as follows:

• Exhibit A – Form of Product Order
• Exhibit B – Bi-Annual System Status Form
• Exhibit C – Community Solar Quarterly Report
• Exhibit D – REC Annual Report
• Exhibit E – Form of Letters of Credit
• Exhibit F – Delivery Schedule Example
• Exhibit G – Surplus RECs and Drawdown Payments Example
• Exhibit H – Master REC Purchase and Sale Agreement (“Master REC Agreement”)

(b) The REC Contract constitutes the “Cover Sheet,” and modifies the terms of the Master REC Agreement (Exhibit H). The exhibits and the guidance notes appended to the end of the Master REC Agreement shall not apply; and the only exhibits that are applicable are those indicated in (a) above.

(c) Capitalized terms used in the REC Contract are provided in pages 11-18 of the Cover Sheet. Capitalized terms used and not otherwise defined in the Cover Sheet or modified by the Cover Sheet shall have the same meaning as in the Master REC Agreement.

(d) The REC Contract may include multiple Transactions. One batch of systems submitted by Seller and approved by the ICC corresponds to one Transaction, and the key terms of such Transaction (such as pricing and size of the Designated Systems within the batch) are specified in the Product Order applicable to such Transaction.

(e) The form of the Product Order is provided in Exhibit A, and each Product Order contains two (2) schedules, Schedule A and Schedule B. Schedule A to a Product Order shall include summary information of each Designated System proposed by Seller under the ABP for which batch has been approved by the ICC for inclusion in the REC Contract. Once a Designated System is Energized, the IPA or its designee shall prepare and complete Schedule B to the Product Order for such Designated System, which includes updated summary information related to the Designated System, and which shall be the basis for determining applicable payments under the REC Contract.

 

Recordings and Presentations from November 30th Stakeholder Meeting Now Available

The  Illinois Power Agency and the Program Administrator held two stakeholder meetings in Chicago on November 30, 2018. The first meeting covered the draft community solar marketing guidelines, draft brochure, and draft community solar consumer protection disclosure forms. The second meeting covered the draft program guidebook.

Click here to view a full recording of the first stakeholder meeting that covered the community solar draft documents.  You can also download a copy of the presentation used during this meeting.

Click here to view a full recording of the second stakeholder meeting that covered the draft program guidebook. A copy of the presentation is also available for download.

The Program Administrator will accept comments on both the community solar draft documents and the draft program guidebook by email at comments@illinoisabp.com until December 10, 2018 at 5:00 PM CST.