Important Deadlines Looming for Illinois Power Agency’s Initial Forward Procurement of Renewable Energy Credits from Utility-Scale Solar and Wind Projects

August 1, 2017

On July 19, 2017, the Illinois Power Agency (“IPA” or “Agency”) issued its Request for Proposals Process and Rules (“RFP Rules”) under which the Agency will solicit fifteen year contracts for the delivery of 1,000,000  Renewable Energy Credits (“RECs”) per year from new utility-scale wind projects and 1,000,000 RECs per year from new utility-scale solar projects and brownfield photovoltaic projects as part of its “Initial Forward Procurement” under the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Bill which became effective earlier this summer on June 1, 2017.  Successful bidders will be required to enter into one or more REC Agreements with Illinois investor-owned utilities, but bidder deadlines are fast approaching. 

On July 20, 2017, the IPA opened the window under which it will begin receiving proposals for its first procurement event with the intent of soliciting fifteen year contracts to deliver 1,000,000 RECs from new utility-scale wind projects and 200,000 RECs from new utility-scale solar projects and brownfield photovoltaic projects (“Summer 2017 Procurement”).  As prescribed by the RFP Rules,  interested bidders must submit certain required information for the IPA’s review and approval in two Parts.  In Part 1 Proposals, bidders are required to submit detailed information about themselves, the “Project” that will be generating the RECs,  the status of their interconnection agreement, and evidence of site control or an executed interconnection agreement.  As part of Part 2 Proposals, bidders must again submit information about themselves   and the REC-producing Project, as well as bid assurance collateral, in the form of cash or  individual letters of credit, to each of the three investor-owned utilities serving retail Illinois electricity customers.  The RFP Rules also require bidders to make certain representations, warranties or certifications as part of their Part 1 and Part 2 Proposals.

Interested wind and solar project developers seeking to sell RECs to the three Illinois investor-owned utilities through this Summer 2017 Procurement should be aware of the following important deadlines and dates recently published by the IPA:

July 20, 2017:           Part 1 Bid Window Opened

August 7, 2017:        Part 1 Proposals Are Due Along with Bid Participation Fee (must be submitted by noon Central Prevailing Time (“CPT”))

August 14, 2017:      Part 1 Notifications to be Issued by IPA

August 15, 2017:      Part 2 Bid Window Opens

August 23, 2017:      Part 2 Proposals Are Due along with Bid Assurance Collateral (Proposals only, not bids, due by noon CPT )

August 31, 2017:      Bids Are Due (must be submitted between 8 a.m. and noon CPT)

September 5, 2017:  Procurement Administrator Submits Confidential Report on Results of Procurement Event to the Illinois Commerce Commission

September 7, 2017:  Anticipated Date for Illinois Commerce Commission to Render Decision on Results of REC Procurement Event

September 12, 2017:         Anticipated Deadline for Successful Bidders to Execute REC Contracts with Utilities (due within 3 business days after Illinois Commerce Commission renders decision)

September 16, 2017:         Anticipated Deadline for Successful Bidders to pay Supplier Fees Due (due within 7 business days after the Illinois Commerce Commission renders decision)

This Client Alert highlights certain information that is especially relevant to potential bidders interested in participating in the IPA’s Summer 2017 Procurement. This Client Alert is not a substitute for careful study and understanding of the IPA’s published requirements in the context of a potential bidder’s individual circumstances. Interested bidders are strongly encouraged to read the complete RFP Rules, the REC contract form, and other information and documents issued by the IPA before submitting bids. The IPA’s Wind and Solar Webpage is accessible here

For questions about any aspect of the Future Energy Jobs Bill, including but not limited to the IPA’s continuing implementation of this new law, please contact the individuals identified below or your Bryan Cave contact.