Illinois regulators are taking first steps to implement the recently enacted far-reaching Illinois energy legislation | Quarles & Brady LLP – After the world

This is the second in a series of Quarles & Brady customer warnings regarding Illinois’ 1,000-page omnibus energy legislation, commonly referred to as the. referred to as The Climate and Equal Opportunities Act (CEJA). the first warning gave an overview of the most important measures of the CEJA and emphasized that their implementation will involve numerous regulatory procedures, rule-making and working groups. This cautionary note reports on initiatives taken by Illinois’ two major energy regulators – the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) and the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) – to initiate this enforcement process.

On September 15, 2021, Illinois Governor Pritzker signed CEJA. The far-reaching provisions of CEJA affect almost every aspect of energy policy at the state level – from the development of additional wind and solar systems to tariff setting and the operation of public utilities, from emission standards in coal and gas-fired power plants to energy efficiency standards and targets, as well as a number of other topics. As mentioned in Quarles & Brady’s first CEJA alarm, the implementation of the law will include numerous regulatory procedures, rule-making, workshops and working groups. These will take place in front of a number of forums, including the ICC and the IPA. There will also be CEJA-related activities with other agencies, including the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Illinois Commerce Commission Activities

The ICC recognizes that CEJA requires long-term, ongoing program management, development and oversight. Since the adoption of CEJA, the ICC has taken the following first steps to fulfill this mandate:

  • Renewable Energy Access Plan: CEJA instructs the ICC to adopt a plan for access to renewable energies. The plan must identify renewable energy access zones across Illinois in areas that are good for renewable energy plants and propose how electrical power from plants within those zones can be inexpensively delivered to customers in Illinois and other states. The ICC has launched a competitive selection process to attract technical and policy experts to assist in the creation of the plan.
  • Energy storage: CEJA requires the ICC to develop a framework to identify and measure costs, benefits and barriers to energy storage by engaging a broad group of stakeholders including the energy storage industry, electricity suppliers and renewable energy developers. The ICC has started informal workshops that will lead to formal regulatory procedures for energy storage.
  • Interconnection working group: CEJA directs the ICC to form an Interconnection Working Group to address a number of interconnection-related issues, including the cost and best available technology for interconnection and metering, the transparency and accuracy of the interconnection queue, the predictability of the queue management process, and enforcement of Deadlines. The ICC has invited developers of renewable energies, electricity suppliers and customers of decentralized generation to participate in the Interconnection Working Group.
  • Energy efficiency opt-out: CEJA enables customers with high electricity consumption to opt out of utility energy efficiency programs and develop their own plans instead. The ICC has one use for this opt-out process.
  • Electric vehicles: With a goal of having one million electric vehicles on the roads of Illinois by 2030, CEJA believes that widespread electric vehicle adoption is required to electrify the transportation sector, diversify the fuel mix for transportation, the economic Promote development and protect air quality. CEJA instructs the ICC to hold a series of workshops on EV-related topics, including current barriers to mass market adoption, incentives for electrification of medium and heavy fleets, and geographic areas and market segments that should prioritize investment in the Electrification infrastructure. The ICC has hired a moderator for this series of workshops on “Beneficial electrification”; the next workshop meeting is planned for December 15, 2021.
  • Integrated network plans: CEJA requires that Illinois ‘largest electric utilities develop integrated network plans to support renewable energy and advance Illinois’ clean energy goals. The ICC plans to hold workshops to review historical and planned capital investments by utilities in their distribution systems. The ICC has initiated a competitive selection process for a moderator to lead the workshops.

Illinois Electricity Agency activities

CEJA Doubles Illinois’ Renewable Energy Investment by Requiring IPA to Procure Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from solar and wind projects. In connection with this directive, the IPA Draft revisions to the standard form REC contract for the Adjustable Block Program (ABP), which applies to communal solar systems and small and large solar projects with decentralized generation (DG). With these draft revisions, the IPA proposes to split the ABP-REC contracts into two forms: the first applies to 15-year REC contracts for small and large DG and “community-driven” municipal solar projects; and the second applies to 20-year REC contracts for DG projects at public schools and community solar projects that are not borne by the community.

The IPA also has one Request feedback from stakeholders on various components of its long-term renewable resource procurement plan, which covers utility projects, the ABP, and the Illinois Solar for All program, applicable to low-income projects.

The latest information

The ICC, IPA, and other Illinois agencies continue to release information about their efforts to implement CEJA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *