- Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed HB 2427, making $30 million of the money paid into the Renewable Energy Resources Fund (RERF) by alternative electricity suppliers in the state’s deregulated electricity market available to invest in new and existing Illinois solar and other renewable energy assets.
- The new law allows the Illinois Power Agency to temporarily invest RERF money in renewables on behalf of all ratepayers until a revision to the Illinois Power Agency Act is agreed on that undoes its restriction of renewables and RECs purchases to the state’s two dominant IOUs.
- ComEd and Ameren Illinois have not been using the fund because a large part of their ratepayer base has moved to new providers of electricity in Illinois’s deregulated market, leaving them with no need for new generation.
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. 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 fifth in the U.S. in wind power use.
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.