Month: August 2020

Update on Waitlisted ABP Community Solar Projects – Site Control Documentation and Land Use Permit Review

Section 6.3.3.1.1 of the IPA’s Revised Long-Term Plan required that Approved Vendors with waitlisted community solar projects provide documentation that those Approved Vendors have maintained site control and any applicable land use permits for waitlisted systems.  Those submittals were required by May 18, 2020.

This communication is merely to provide an update that the Program Administrator’s comprehensive review of documentation submitted has and that the review of submitted documentation is ongoing. The Program Administrator has completed review of projects’ submittals and anticipates completion of process by the end of September.  Once completed, and eligibility to remain on waitlists determined, the Program Administrator will release updated Group A and Group B community solar waitlists.

In the interim, please reach out to admin@illinoisabp.com or (877) 783-1820 with any questions.

Update to Extension Process for Scheduled Energization Deadlines

The Program Administrator is announcing an update to the protocol for requesting an extension for a system that is nearing its Scheduled Energization Deadline.

Moving forward, all extension requests made under REC contract clause Section 5(b)(v) should be rounded to the last business day of the month.

For example, if a system’s Scheduled Energized Date is August 19, 2020, and the Approved Vendor requests a 12 month extension under Section 5(b)(v), the new Scheduled Energized Date will be August 31, 2021, instead of August 19, 2021. Please ensure this is captured in all extension requests sought under Section 5(b)(v).

This change in protocol only effects extension requests made under Section 5(b)(v) of the REC contract. The protocol for all extensions made under other Section 5(b) clauses remain as stated in the REC contract.

More details on the extension request protocol can be found in the relevant Program FAQ here.

Job Training and Workforce Diversity Reporting is Now Live – DEADLINE OCTOBER 13

The functionality to submit job training and workforce diversity information is now live in the ABP portal. Approved Vendors must submit this information no later than Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

On June 18, 2020 the Illinois Power Agency posted a request for comments regarding job training and workforce diversity data and how that information should be collected. The final requirements for this were posted on July 31, 2020. Approved Vendors are encouraged to review the final requirements before submitting job training and workforce diversity data.

The job training and workforce diversity questions can be found in the same section of the ABP portal as the required Annual Report (Section 9), of which these questions are a part.

Draft REC Contract Workshop #2

On August 7, the Illinois Power Agency, in conjunction with NERA Economic Consulting and the Adjustable Block Program Administrator, InClime, held the second of two online workshops to discuss the Draft REC contract that was posted on July 24th, alongside a request for stakeholder comments. The webinar can be viewed below, and the PowerPoint presentation shown in the webinar can be viewed by clicking here.

Program Guidebook Update – Request for Stakeholder Comment

A draft updated Adjustable Block Program Guidebook has been released for stakeholder feedback. The draft updated Program Guidebook and a redlined document showing changes from the May 31, 2019 version can be found here . As detailed in Section 9 of the current Program Guidebook, the Program Administrator is requesting comments on the changes in this draft version of the Program Guidebook. In lieu of hosting a webinar to discuss any changes made to this version of the Guidebook, the IPA and its Program Administrator are happy to provide answers to any questions or otherwise receive less formal input or feedback outside of the formal comment process, if necessary.

Stakeholders should email comments to admin@illinoisabp.com by Friday, September 4, 2020 (extended from Friday, August 21, 2020). In general, responses will be made public and published on the ABP’s website (https://illinoisabp.com/). However, should a commenter seek to designate any portion of its response as confidential, that commenter should provide both public and redacted versions of their comments. The Program Administrator has provided a Word document version of the draft Program Guidebook in the case that stakeholders wish to edit the document directly and send an edited version of this document to the Program Administrator.

Key changes in this draft version of the Program Guidebook include, among others:

  • Updates to conform with the Revised Long-Term Renewable Resources Plan
  • Information on Designee Registration
  • Clarification on the Program’s disciplinary process
  • Removal of stale sections that are no longer relevant to the Program as it exists today

Updated COVID-19 Related Marketing Guidelines – August 5, 2020

On March 20, 2020, in light of the growing COVID-19 pandemic and its expected impacts in Illinois, the Illinois Power Agency adopted the following emergency amendment to its Adjustable Block Program and Illinois Solar for All Program Marketing Guidelines:

In-person marketing and solicitation: Given the public health emergency posed by the COVID-19 virus, in-person marketing or solicitation of photovoltaic system sales, installations, or financing; in-person marketing or solicitation of community solar subscriptions; or similar in-person solar marketing or solicitation activity are prohibited.

Clarifications to these requirements were offered on May 19, 2020, along with additional guidance and updates on June 4, 2020 and June 30, 2020.

This update once again confirms that the IPA’s prohibition of door-to-door sales and solicitation remains in place.  While Illinois is perhaps better situated than neighboring states, recent weeks have seen the Illinois statewide COVID-19 positivity rate (the percentage of positive tests across total tests given) creep upward from 2.6% to 4.0%.  This is a troubling trend, and Illinois has since been added to the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut joint quarantine list.  Additionally, as was the case in its prior updates, the Illinois Commerce Commission’s emergency order prohibiting door to door sales by Alternative Retail Electric Suppliers and Alternative Gas Suppliers likewise remains in place, and the state remains under a Gubernatorial Disaster Declaration.

For the foregoing reasons and those offered in its prior updates, the Agency believes this would be an inappropriate time to start permitting in-person interactions initiated without a customer, homeowner, or business owner’s express permission.  This prohibition will remain in effect until lifted by the IPA through a formal announcement, although the IPA will endeavor to continue providing updates.  Additionally, prior-issued guidance regarding best practices and permitted activities remains in effect.  Should you have questions about whether specific practices are permitted, please contact IPA Chief Legal Counsel Brian Granahan at Brian.Granahan@Illinois.gov.

Draft REC Contract Workshop #1

On July 31, the Illinois Power Agency, in conjunction with NERA Economic Consulting and the Adjustable Block Program Administrator, InClime, held the first of two online workshops to discuss the Draft REC contract that was posted on July 24th, alongside a request for stakeholder comments. The webinar can be viewed below, and the PowerPoint presentation shown in the webinar can be viewed by clicking here.