The Illinois Power Agency is seeking feedback on the first draft of the refreshed Adjustable Block Program REC contract with comments due by August 14, 2020. The draft REC contract, a comparison of the draft REC contract and the current REC Contract, and a Request for Stakeholder Comments document can be found at www.illinoisabp.com/rec-contract. Please see the Request for Stakeholder Comments for additional background and information, and details on two virtual workshops scheduled for July 31, 2020 and August 7, 2020, both at 12:00 PM Central Standard Time.
The Adjustable Block Program Project & REC Contract Timeline has been posted to the Illinois Adjustable Block Program Lottery Procedure page.
The Illinois Power Agency (“IPA”) and Program Administrator announce that Block 2 for the Group B, Large Distributed Generation (“DG”) project category (i.e. DG projects from 10 kW-2MW) is closing. Block 2 will remain open for the next 14 days per the Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan’s “soft closing” concept which states 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).”
Block 2 will close Friday, April 5, 2019 at 5:00 PM Central Prevailing Time. Assuming available capacity, projects in batches submitted during this 14-day window will receive Block 2 pricing if the project application is approved by the Program Administrator, with approval subject to the availability of capacity within this category (capped by the combined capacity of Blocks 2 and 3) plus any discretionary capacity allocated to Group B, Large DG that is announced. Once the 14-day window has concluded, Block 2 will be considered closed and Block 3 will open, to the extent that any Block 3 capacity remains available. Once the combined capacity of Blocks 1-3 has been reached, batches will be considered on a first come/first served basis, and will be deemed eligible for any Block 4 discretionary capacity allocated to the Group B, Large DG category on that basis should the Agency allocate discretionary capacity to Group B, Large DG.
Consistent with the process described in the paragraph A.2 of the Program Guidebook, all Group B, Large DG projects that applied to the Adjustable Block Program in the first 14 days after Program opening (January 30, 2019) will receive Block 1 pricing if the project application is approved. Because the capacity of project applications received during those 14 days (approximately 97 MW) was at least 100% and under 200% of Block 1 capacity, Block 2 in the Group B, Large DG category opened automatically after the first 14 days.
The IPA expects to announce its allocation of discretionary capacity next week, which will provide additional Program capacity at Block 4 pricing.
As a reminder, Group A, Large DG, and both Group A and Group B, Community Solar categories will be subject to the lottery procedures, with each of those three lotteries scheduled for April 10, 2019. Groups A and B, Small DG remain open in Block 1.
As part of the Final REC Contract Announcement, the Illinois Power Agency and the Program Administrator invited written questions on the Final REC Delivery Contract, to be submitted by January 31, 2019. These questions and the answers to these questions have now been posted here.
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 now published its Final REC Delivery Contract, which will serve as the standard contract form for the delivery of RECs under the ABP. More information for stakeholders about changes in this final contract compared to the Second Draft REC Contract dated January 11, 2019 can be found in the Final REC Contract Announcement linked below.
The Agency has set the following schedule for the opening of the Adjustable Block Program to project applications:
• Wednesday, January 30, 2019: Adjustable Block Program will open for project applications at 9:00 AM CST
• Wednesday, February 13, 2019, 12:00 PM CST: Deadline for project applications/batches to be submitted in order to qualify for any required lottery in a Group/category combination
Stakeholder comments on the Second Draft REC Contract were due on January 18, 2019 and have been posted here. The final REC Contract will be published on January 28, 2019.
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 email@example.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.
Redline (reflects the differences between the First Draft Contract posted on 7 December 2018 and the Second Draft Contract posted on 11 January 2019)
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The draft contract published for stakeholder comments on December 7, 2018 and comments received on the contract are available here.