Category: Uncategorized

Request for Comments – Draft Marketing Guidelines and Community Solar Disclosure Form

The IPA is seeking public comments on the Adjustable Block Program Draft Marketing Guidelines (Distributed Generation and Community Solar), as well as the Adjustable Block Program Community Solar Disclosure Form. The request for comment announcements, as well as the relevant documents for review can all be found at this link.

The IPA is seeking feedback on edits that include provisions on the HEAT Act (Public Act 101-0590), as well as other changes to both the Distributed Generation and Community Solar Marketing Guidelines.

The IPA is seeking feedback on the Community Solar Disclosure Form as it relates to subscriber acquisition processes.

Stakeholder feedback is due no later than Friday, April 17, 2020 at 5:00 PM CST. Please send your comments and/or questions to IPA.Solar@illinois.gov.

 

Group B Small DG Block 2 opening capacity

Upon the closure of Group B Small DG Block 1 on February 21, 2020 at 11:59 PM, the opening capacity of Group B Small DG Block 2 is 46.12 MWac.

The Program Administrator announced on February 22, 2020 that Group B Small DG Block 1 had closed. Per Section 1(C)(3)(b) of the Program Guidebook, this Block was held open for an additional 14 calendar days beyond the date on which it had reached capacity.  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 received Block 1 pricing, provided that the application fee was 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 exceeded the original 52 MW capacity of Group B Small DG Block 1 were deducted from the original capacity of 52 MW for Group B Small DG Block 2. Because an additional 5.88 MW of capacity was allocated to Group B Small DG Block 1 during the soft-close period (for a total of 57.88 MW of Block 1 capacity), Group B Small DG Block 2 has an opening capacity of 46.12 MW, not the original capacity of 52 MW.

The final calculation of the opening capacity of Group B Small DG Block 2 was not known until at least 10 business days had passed from the closure of Block 1. 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 A Small DG Block 1 closed

Group A Small DG Block 1 is closed as of March 31, 2020 at 5:00 PM Central Prevailing Time and Group A Small DG Block 2 is now open.

The Program Administrator announced on March 25, 2020 that Group A Small DG Block 1 had reached capacity. Per Section 6.3.2 of the Revised Long-Term Plan, this Block was held open for an additional 7 calendar days.  Any Group A Small DG applications submitted as part of a paid batch on or prior to March 31, 2020 at 4:59 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 A 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 7-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 22 MW capacity of Group A Small DG Block 1 will be deducted from the original capacity of 22 MW for Group A Small DG Block 2. For example, if an additional 2 MW of capacity is allocated during the soft-close period (for a total of 24 MW of Block 1 capacity), Group A Small DG Block 2 will have an opening capacity of 20 MW, not the original capacity of 22 MW.

The Program Administrator will make a subsequent announcement with the preliminary calculation of the capacity available for Group A Small DG Block 2, factoring in the capacity allocated to Block 1 during its 7-day soft-close period. The final calculation of the opening capacity of Group A 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 A Small DG Block 1 that are subsequently withdrawn will be added to Group A Small DG Block 2 capacity.

Consumer Complaint Database posted

The Program Administrator announces that a Database of Consumer Complaints is now available on the Adjustable Block Program and Illinois Shines websites. The database provides a summary of complaints received by the programs and the status of their resolution. This report complements the previously released Disciplinary Actions Report and will be updated when changes occur to ensure that the information is up to date and serves as a reliable resource.

In addition, the Illinois Power Agency has filed the 2019 Consumer Complaints Report with the Illinois Commerce Commission. The report describes in more detail 28 complaints received by the Program Administrator between November 2018 and December 2019 as well as three disciplinary actions taken during that period. These complaints represent a very small portion of the over 11,000 project applications received.

In developing the Database and Report, the Illinois Power Agency and the Program Administrator have sought to balance respecting the privacy of complainants and the benefits of having transparent information that can be valuable to other consumers who may be seeking an Approved Vendor/Designee to work with. The Database and Report do not contain any personally identifying information regarding the complainant. (Background on stakeholder feedback on this topic can be found here.)

To be considered a consumer complaint, a complaint generally will need to come directly from the impacted consumer. However, the Program Administrator maintains the discretion to publish information on a complaint received from an ABP Approved Vendor/Designee or a third-party if the complaint provides information that would be valuable to other parties. Generally, complaints from an ABP Approved Vendor/Designee should be directed to the Program Administrator and will be addressed within the scope of the Program.

Reminders regarding energization extension requests and force majeure

The Illinois Power Agency and the Adjustable Block Program Administrator recognize that the COVID-19 crisis is creating uncertainties that could impact performance under Adjustable Block Program contracts. (See also the Agency’s March 20, 2020 announcement.)

Should Approved Vendors consider requesting extensions to energization deadlines and requests for force majeure, the Agency has the following procedural reminders.

Format

  • In general, requests should be made by submitting a formal letter on company letterhead in PDF format. Please include any applicable supporting documentation. Communicating that request by email is generally appropriate.
  • Please note that an energization deadline extension request is distinct from requesting the recognition of a force majeure event, and any request should clearly specify what relief is being requested and what specific clause of the contract is being invoked.

Energization deadline extensions

  • Several options for extension of energization deadlines are available; please see Section 5(b) of the REC Contract, starting on page 3.
  • Under Section 5(b), extension requests must be “made in writing by Seller to Buyer and the IPA.”  For the IPA, please email the request to IPA.Solar@illinois.gov.  For the Buyer, please refer to the contact sheet found within the contract itself.

Force Majeure

  • For any Approved Vendor seeking the recognition of a force majeure event under an Adjustable Bock Program REC delivery contract (see Article 6 as amended starting on page 30), the force majeure notification “must be made to both the Buyer and the IPA.”
  • In providing notification to the IPA, please email the request to IPA.Solar@illinois.gov.  For the Buyer, please refer to the contact sheet found within the contract itself.

 

Group A Small DG Block 1 capacity reached

The Illinois Power Agency (“IPA”) and Program Administrator announce that Block 1 for the Group A Small Distributed Generation (“DG”) project category (i.e. DG projects up to and including 10 kWac) has been filled. Block 1 will remain open for 7 calendar days per the soft-close provision in Section 6.3.2 of the Revised Long-Term Plan approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission on February 18, 2020.

Any Group A Small DG batches submitted prior to March 31, 2020 at 5:00 PM Central Prevailing Time will be allocated to Block 1, provided that the application fee is paid within 10 business days following submittal. Once the 7-day window of the soft-close has concluded, Block 1 will be considered closed and Block 2 will open. Any Group A Small DG applications submitted on or after March 31, 2020 at 5:00 PM Central Prevailing Time will be allocated to Block 2 and if verified will receive Block 2 REC pricing.

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

IPA COVID-19 Announcement

The IPA has released this statement regarding COVID-19.

All Program participants are requested to read this announcement as it, among other factors:
  • Includes a change in Program requirements and the Marketing Guidelines
  • Establishes new requirements around face-to-face interaction
  • Provides updates on planned workshops
  • Gives guidance on system inspections going forward

Large DG and Community Solar waitlists posted

The Program Administrator has posted spreadsheets of the waitlists for the Group A Large DG and Group B Large DG categories on the Large DG dashboard page. Additionally, the Group A Community Solar and Group B Community Solar waitlists can be found on the Community Solar dashboard page. These files will be refreshed daily.

Please refer to the announcements on the Program website for more details on the closure of Group B Large DG Block 4 posted on March 5, 2020, the closure of Group A Large DG Block 4 posted on March 6, 2020, and the more general block closing protocol posted on February 26, 2020.

Section 6.3.3.1.1 of the Revised Long-Term Plan requires that waitlisted community solar projects, “will have to verify with the Program Administrator within 90 days of the approval of this Revised Plan that the project has maintained any applicable land use permits and site control (e.g., leases or lease options)” in order to remain on a waitlist. The Program Administrator will announce the process for this verification shortly.

Group A Large DG Block 4 closed

On March 5, 2020 an application was submitted that exceeded the available capacity in Group A Large DG Block 4. This application and all other applications for this Group/category submitted in a paid batch on or prior to 11:59 PM Central Prevailing Time on that date were allocated to Block 4 up to a cap of 5 MW of additional Block 4 capacity. As previously announced on February 26, 2020, the application that crossed the 5MW cap was allocated to Block 4 in its entirety; as a result, the additional capacity allocated to Block 4 is 5.14 MWac. All subsequently submitted applications will be placed on a waitlist as the Block is now closed. At this time there is not a schedule for the opening of a future block of capacity for Group A Large DG. Please refer to the announcement of the Block 4 closing protocol on illinoisabp.com for more details.

Group B Large DG Block 4 closed

On March 4, 2020 an application was submitted that exceeded the available capacity in Group B Large DG Block 4. This application and all other applications for this Group/category submitted in a paid batch on or prior to 11:59 PM Central Prevailing Time on that date (731.2 kWac) were allocated to Block 4. These applications did not exceed the closing day cap of 5 MW of Block 4 capacity that was previously announced on February 26, 2020. All applications submitted for this Group/category after this date and time will be placed on a waitlist as the Block is now closed. At this time there is not a schedule for the opening of a future block of capacity for Group B Large DG. Please refer to the announcement of the Block 4 closing protocol on illinoisabp.com for more details.