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Illinois Supports Solar in Two Big Ways

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House Bill 2427 was signed into law June 30, 2014 by Gov. Pat Quinn (D), and requires the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) to use up to $30 million to purchase solar power to meet the state’s energy needs. The new law emphasizes the development of distributed solar generation for homes and businesses utilizing two megawatts (MW) or less of electricity.

The one-time $30 million procurement of solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) will come from the IPA’s Renewable Energy Resources Fund, which is supported by clean energy fees paid by power suppliers in Illinois. The law restricts renewables and REC purchases by the IPA to ComEd and Ameren Illinois customers only.

In addition, as part of its current plan, the IPA must procure 1% or the Renewable Portfolio Standard from distributed generation. This is an annual requirement, so not a one-time procurement like the $30 million mentioned above. Of that 1%, half must come from devices 25 MW and below.

According to the draft 2015 IPA procurement plan, “A generation source is considered a “distributed renewable energy generation device” under the IPA Act if it is:

  • Powered by wind, solar thermal energy, photovoltaic cells and panels, biodiesel, crops, and untreated and unadulterated organic waste biomass, tree waste, and hydropower that does not involve new construction or significant expansion of hydropower dams;
  • Interconnected at the distribution system level of either an electric utility, alternative retail electric supplier, municipal utility, or a rural electric cooperative;
  • Located on the customer side of the customer’s electric meter and is primarily used to offset that customer’s electricity load; and is
  • Limited in nameplate capacity to no more than 2,000 kW.
To the extent available, half of the renewable energy resources procured from distributed renewable energy generation shall come from devices of less than 25 kW in nameplate capacity.”

According to Chris Meehan’s “Is Illinois the Greenest State? 91 Renewable-Powered Communities Say “Yes!” article, Illinois ranks first among all states in the nation in purchasing green energy. In fact, about 91 Illinois communities get 100% of their power from renewables.

Direct Energy Business, through our industry-first partnership with SolarCity, can help unlock solar potential for your company in a way that is easy and affordable to do.  To learn more about how Direct Energy can help your business benefit from solar, click here.

Posted: September 10, 2014