- Commonwealth Edison has made an initial rate filing that is a necessary first step towards the utility growing customer participation in community renewable projects as a result of Illinois' Future Energy Jobs Act, passed last year.
- The bill contained a wide range of renewable aspects, but primarily included financial supports for two Exelon nuclear plants at risk of closing.
- ComEd's recent filing, however, proposes tariff changes to allow community solar projects to benefit from their generation. If it is approved, customers will be able to subscribe to a community supply project to offset some or all of their energy needs," the utility said.
Commonwealth Edison on Tuesday filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission tariff changes it says are needed for community solar and will help develop enough renewable energy to power one million homes.
Along with environmental and economic provisions in the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), the law also expanded the ability of residential and business customers to participate in solar projects without having to install or own solar panels. The utility's filing asked the ICC to approve a proposed rider, "Parallel Operation of Retail Customer Generating Facilities Community Supply," in addition to changes to other tariff provisions.
FEJA is designed to move Illinois towards a new clean energy economy. In addition to maintaining the state's nuclear fleet, it is expected to nearly double energy efficiency programs and reduce the amount CO2 in the air equivalent to removing 18 million cars from the road. The law also contains significant programs for low-income communities and extends ComEd’s customer assistance programs for five years.
“Today’s filing is the first step in the journey toward growth of solar and other renewables and all of their consumer and environmental benefits,” ComEd President and CEO Anne Pramaggiore said in a statement.
The Illinois nuclear supports, along with a similar program in New York, are being challenged at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Opponents of the subsidies say they intrude into wholesale markets which are FERC's jurisdiction.