- The Illinois state legislature approved HB 2427, making $30 million paid into the Renewable Energy Resources Fund by alternative electricity suppliers in the state’s deregulated market available to invest in new and existing Illinois solar and other renewable energy assets.
- Wording in the Illinois Power Agency Act presently restricts renewables and REC purchases by the the Illinois Power Agency to only ComEd and Ameren Illinois customers but those utilities have no need for new generation because a large part of their ratepayer base has moved to new providers of lower cost electricity in Illinois’s deregulated market.
- HB 2427 is a temporary measure allowing the Agency to purchase renewables until a revision to the Act is agreed on that will permit purchases from the fund for all Illinois’ ratepayers.
The Governor has 60 days to sign, rewrite, or veto the bill.
The allotted $30 million is expected to be targeted primarily at distributed solar generation with a name-plate capacity of two megawatts or less.
As a result of deregulation, competition among suppliers of electric services has driven power prices low enough that the state mandate requiring 25% renewables by 2025 is being met without the IPA's involvement. Some 91 Illinois communities get 100% of their power from renewables and the state is 5th in the U.S. in wind power use.
Meanwhile, the $53 million paid by Illinois ratepayers into the RERF is going unused and $80 million more is expected to go into the fund over the next few months.
This bill was supported by Exelon, the biggest power supplier in the state, which has a 10 megawatt solar power plant that will now be eligible for funding.