The State of Illinois continued its efforts to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050 when, on July 14, 2022, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approved the Resource Supply Plan 2022 Illinois Power Agency (IPA) Long-Range Renewable Renewables (LTRRPP) and finalized rules and programs established under the Climate and Fair Employment Act (CEJA), which was passed in September 2021. The LTRRPP is a guide to the implementation of CEJA, and its approval authorizes more than $1.1 billion to procure new generation of renewable energy in Illinois over the next two years by helping fund energy projects. renewable energy throughout Illinois.
The LTRRPP is required under CEJA and is designed to help Illinois achieve 100% clean electricity by 2050. The ICC is to ensure that Illinois utilities Ameren Illinois Company (Ameren) , Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) and MidAmerican Energy Company (MidAmerican) procure renewable energy. credits (REC) to meet Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (RPS) compliance requirements. With the adoption of CEJA, the RPS expanded Illinois’ goal to 40% renewable energy by 2030, 50% by 2040, and 100% by 2050.
Importantly, the 2022 LTRRPP approves six supply blocks under the Adjustable Block Program (ABP) instead of three as in previous years. The original three blocks included small distributed generation, large distributed generation, and community solar. With the approval of the LTRRPP, three additional blocks have been added which will include incentives for solar panels in public schools, community-based solar installations and fair trade eligible contractors, which benefit disadvantaged businesses in the renewable energy sector.
One of CEJA’s main goals is to expand the low-income program, Illinois Solar for All (ILSFA). ILFSA’s goal is to achieve at least 25 percent of the program’s incentives for use in environmental justice communities. Following the approval of the LTRPP by the ICC, the ILSFA is expanded by allowing low-income communities and environmental justice to access and benefit from the program. For example, the LTRRPP is expanding access to solar power for residential customers and specifically low-income residents by creating new customer categories for renters, and a pilot program will provide roof repairs to residents at low income so that they can install solar installations on the roof. Entrepreneurs seeking CERs must also meet minimum equity and inclusion criteria in their workforce to qualify for beneficial pricing adjustments during the bidding process for various programs.
In May, the IPA announced that it would be transitioning to a new program administrator, Energy Solutions (formerly Inclime), who will use the LTRRP to create a detailed proposal on how renewable energy project developers and customers can participate in various incentive programs. The API has 60 days to submit a compliance dossier based on the LTRRPP. When the ABP and ILSFA incentives reopen in the fall, it is expected that various parties will begin applying to take advantage of the new opportunities available in Illinois.