Category: Uncategorized

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 Capacity allocated to projects in Group B Small DG Block 1 that are subsequently withdrawn will be added to Group B Small DG Block 2 capacity.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.

Adjustable Block Program Timelines

The Program Administrator has developed Program timelines to help Approved Vendors, Approved Vendor Designees, Program participants, and the members of the general public better understand the Illinois Adjustable Block Program. These timelines provide estimated timeframes for each step of the application, approval, and payment process. To provide the appropriate level of information about the Program for different audiences, two timelines are available:

  • Approved Vendor Adjustable Block Program Timeline – Detailed information about each step of the application, approval, and payment process with estimated processing times. Customized for Approved Vendors to help the Approved Vendors and their Designees better understand Adjustable Block Program processes.
  • Illinois Shines Program Timeline – Summary of each step of the program with estimated processing times. This timeline is customized for use in customer (and potential customer) interactions to help them understand Program timing including REC payments. Additional context is provided about the Program to highlight areas where delays in application processing time are possible.

These timelines will be updated on a periodic basis to reflect updated estimated processing times and any programmatic changes.

Change to customer e-mail requirement on ABP Disclosure Forms

The Illinois Power Agency has decided to implement a change related to the inclusion of customer e-mail addresses on Adjustable Block Program Disclosure Forms. This is in response to a request made by an Approved Vendor. The requirement to include a customer e-mail 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 e-mail address must be accompanied by a signed standard waiver. The waiver must be executed by the customer verifying that the customer does not have an e-mail address. This waiver confirming that the customer does not have an e-mail address will need to be signed by the customer with a wet signature to be considered acceptable by the Program Administrator.

Prior to allowing Disclosure Forms to be submitted without an e-mail address, the standard waiver will be developed by the Program Administrator and programing changes made to the Disclosure Form API. Therefore, this option will not be available to Approved Vendors immediately. The Program Administrator will publish an announcement to Approved Vendors once the waiver is finalized and ready for use by Approved Vendors.

Response to Comments – Coordinates Inclusion in Part I Application

The Adjustable Block Program Administrator would like to thank all stakeholders that provided comments on the recent request for comments about the introduction of new fields for latitude and longitude in the Program’s Part I application.

Five stakeholders submitted comments and the comments did not offer a consensus opinion. The Illinois Power Agency has decided to continue to provide the coordinates fields as an optional field during the Part I Application but strongly encourage the use of this field for projects with rural addresses. This approach will help ensure that the Program Administrator can more easily verify the location of a rural project, thus ensuring swifter review of applications without further burdening the majority of projects applying to the Program.

Projects that do opt to utilize this field in the Part I application should format the coordinates in degrees and decimals of a degree out to 6 decimal places (e.g. 41.881856, -87.631222). This format is easily identified through Google Maps.

If you are unsure of how to identify the coordinates for a project’s location, Google Maps provides this information readily. Right-clicking on the map and selecting “What’s here?” will display the coordinates at the bottom of the screen.

Approved Vendors that submit a significant number of project applications with addresses that are difficult to map and do not include latitude and longitude coordinates for their projects may be asked by the Program Administrator to use the coordinates fields for all future projects.

Program Reply to Responses Received Through Request for Comments on FAQs on Switching Approved Vendors

The Program Administrator would like to thank all stakeholders that provided comments on the ABP’s recent request for comments about how two related problems would be handled: (A) whether and how an applicant project with a pending Part I application (including an application included on any applicable Group/category waitlist) could switch its Approved Vendor; and (B) how the Program should handle a situation in which two Approved Vendors each submit a Part I application for the same photovoltaic project.

Rather than simply publishing a policy governing these situations, the Program sought feedback on its proposed approach. Just three stakeholders submitted comments throughout the comment period and only one of these comments presented information beyond agreeing with the proposed approach. Due to the limited amount of feedback received, the Agency has made minimal edits to the final versions of the proposed approach and the FAQs.  Comments received on the proposed approach, the finalized approach, and the finalized FAQs can be found here.

Request for Comments on FAQs on Switching Approved Vendors

The Adjustable Block Program has received inquiries about how two related problems would be handled: (A) whether and how an applicant project with a pending Part I application (including an application included on any applicable Group/category waitlist) could switch its Approved Vendor; and (B) how the Program should handle a situation in which two Approved Vendors each submit a Part I application for the same photovoltaic project.

Rather than simply publishing a policy governing these situations, the Program seeks feedback on its proposed approach. Below are, first, the Illinois Power Agency’s proposed treatment of these situations, and a second document containing the Agency’s rationale underlying its proposed approach.  Please review both documents and provide your comments to admin@illinoisabp.com by Monday, October 7th at 5:00 PM CDT.

Disciplinary Actions Report

The Program Administrator has created a new public report of disciplinary actions involving Approved Vendors/Designees that have been found to have violated Program guidelines. This public report has been developed in the interests of fairness, transparency, and awareness to help ensure that all Approved Vendors/Designees are aware of disciplinary decisions, and thus do not unknowingly partner with Approved Vendors/Designees that are suspended from the Program. The report is also designed to provide information to potential project hosts, installers, and other interested parties.
The report will include the following information regarding each disciplinary decision:
  • Approved Vendor/Designee Name
  • Approved Vendor or Designee?
  • Reason for Suspension
  • Suspension Status
  • Date of Suspension Decision and Effective Start Date of Suspension
  • Date Suspension Concludes
  • Length of Suspension
  • Appeal Submitted?
  • Date of Appeal Receipt
  • Status of Appeal
  • Appeal Determination
  • Date of Appeal Determination
  • Other Information
This report will be updated on a weekly basis to ensure that the information is up to date and serves as a reliable resource. It is the responsibility of Approved Vendors/Designees to remain informed of this information as the Program Administrator will not send out specific communications each time that an addition or other change is made to the report. For violations or disciplinary decisions that are egregious and outside the norm, or when other circumstances warrant it, the Program Administrator may provide extra communication to Approved Vendors regarding the decision. Please contact the Program Administrator at admin@illinoisabp.com or  (877) 783-1820 with any questions on this process.