2018 Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar Procurement (AIC, ComEd, and MEC)

Public Act 99-0906 was signed into law on December 7, 2016 and became effective June 1, 2017. This legislation calls for the Illinois Power Agency (“IPA”) to develop a Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan. On December 4, 2017, the IPA submitted its Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (“Long-Term Plan”) to the Illinois Commerce Commission (“ICC”) pursuant to the provisions of Sections 1-56(b) and 1-75(c) of the Illinois Power Agency Act and Section 16-111.5 of the Public Utilities Act. As approved by the ICC, the Long-Term Plan provides for a procurement: (i) 2 million RECs delivered annually from new utility-scale wind projects (projects over 2 MW); (ii) 2 million RECs delivered annually from new utility-scale solar projects (projects over 2 MW); and (iii) 80,000 RECs delivered annually from new brownfield site photovoltaic projects.

Fall 2018 Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar Calendar (May 24, 2018)

Click here to view Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar FAQs.

Fall 2018 Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP Results


Fall 2018 Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP

FINAL Fall 2018 Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP Bidder Information Webcast

FINAL Fall 2018 Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP Documents

FINAL Fall 2018 Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar REC Contract

DRAFT Fall 2018 Brownfield Site PV Requirements Comment Process

DRAFT Fall 2018 Standard Contract Form Comment Process

DRAFT Fall 2018 Second Draft Solar REC Contract

DRAFT Fall 2018 Draft Solar REC Contract

DRAFT Fall 2018 Preliminary Proposal Documents


Fall 2018 Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar FAQs

Click on the question to see the answer:

FAQ-S&B-1
Q: Are there fundamental differences between the procurement events that will be conducted under the upcoming Forward Procurements and the procurement events that were conducted under the Initial Forward Procurements specifically with regards to brownfield site photovoltaic projects?

Yes. Unlike the Initial Forward Procurement, there is a quantity of 80,000 RECs set aside to be procured specifically from brownfield site photovoltaic projects. In previous events, there was no set aside quantity for brownfield site photovoltaic projects so that RECs from utility-scale solar projects and from brownfield site photovoltaic projects competed against each other.

Additionally, in response to the Illinois Commerce Commission’s Final Order issued on April 3, 2018 (Docket 17-0838), the eligibility requirements for brownfield sites in the IEPA’s Site Remediation Program will change from the requirements under the Initial Forward Procurement. Bidders that present a project regulated under this program will be required to show that the site currently features or featured actual blight or contamination prior to remediation. The IPA is developing these additional requirements and seeks stakeholder input.

On June 15, the Illinois Power Agency posted a Request for Comments to its website here:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/ipa/Pages/RenewableResourcesWorkshops.aspx

Feedback regarding additional requirements for IEPA brownfield site eligibility is requested under Topic 5. Stakeholders are requested to send responses to this Request for Comments to Anthony.Star@illinois.gov by June 27, 2018.

06-22-2018

FAQ-S&B-2
Q: The workshop presentation states that utility-scale projects must be energized no later than three years after Commission decision. Which Commission decision is meant in this context? Is there a separate deadline for first REC delivery?

For a utility-scale wind project to be considered “new”, as specified in the Act, it must be energized no later than three years after the Commission decision on the results of the procurement event for which the project is approved.  Thus this is not a fixed date but a date that will vary depending on the date of a specific procurement event.

Separately from this requirement, the IPA is currently seeking stakeholder input on the deadline for first REC delivery. The IPA’s Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan targets the 2020-2021 Delivery Year for first REC deliveries under the Forward Procurements, but does not indicate a specific date.  Feedback regarding the deadline for first REC delivery is requested under Topic 1 in the IPA’s Request for Comments.

06-22-2018

FAQ-S&B-3
Q: Do stakeholders have an opportunity to comment on the delivery obligations for projects selected under the upcoming forward procurements?

The Procurement Administrator will issue an invitation to submit comments on the draft REC Contract, expected on July 13, 2018.  The draft REC Contract will specify the delivery obligations and stakeholders may comment on any of these specific provisions.  If necessary, there will be an additional invitation to comment on the draft REC Contract as it applies to utility-scale solar project and brownfield site photovoltaic projects later in the fall.

06-22-2018

FAQ-S&B-4
Q: How is “new” wind project and “new” photovoltaic project defined?

Under Public Act 099-0906 (“Act”), a utility-scale solar project meets the definition of “new photovoltaic projects” if it is energized after June 1, 2017.  This definition does not specify a “no later than” date. The Act defines “new wind projects” as wind renewable energy facilities that are energized after June 1, 2017 for the delivery year commencing June 1, 2017 or within 3 years after the date the Commission approves contracts for subsequent delivery years. The IPA provides its interpretation of these definitions in Section 2.4.2. of its draft Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan available here.

06-22-2018

FAQ-S&B-5
Q: Am I correct to infer from the workshop presentation that the structure of the upcoming Forward Procurements follows the structure used for the Initial Forward Procurements?

We are unable to tell exactly to which slide your question refers but we assume that you are referring to the structure of the proposal submission process (slide 20).  This submission process is generally the same across all procurement events held by the IPA.  There has been no change to this structure since the Initial Forward Procurements.

Proposal requirements, however, may change.  In particular, the IPA is seeking input on the level of pre-bid collateral and on an appropriate milestone to use to assess project maturity.  Feedback regarding the level of pre-bid collateral is requested under Topic 2 in the IPA’s Request for Comments and feedback regarding an appropriate assessment of project maturity is requested under Topic 4.

06-22-2018

FAQ-S&B-6
Q: Can stakeholders comment on credit and collateral provisions, including the level of pre-bid collateral?

Feedback regarding credit and collateral provisions, including the level of pre-bid collateral, is requested under Topic 2 in the IPA’s Request for Comments.

06-22-2018

FAQ-S&B-7
Q: When will the RFP for the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar procurement events be posted?

The RFP documents including the RFP Rules will be posted to the dedicated Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar Procurement page of the procurement website on October 15, 2018.

The calendar for the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar procurement events is now available on the Calendar page of the procurement website:

https://www.ipa-energyrfp.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/IPA-2018-Brownfield-and-Utility-Scale-Solar-Calendar_24-MAY-2018.pdf

07-09-2018

FAQ-S&B-8
Q: If we already provided executed cash return requests during the proposal process, do we still need to provide these documents to the Companies to receive our bid assurance collateral back under the New Solar RFP?

Yes, if a Bidder provided cash as bid assurance collateral under the New Solar RFP, such Bidder is required to provide fully executed requests for the return of cash to each Company. The return of cash is initiated by the Company on the date at which such executed request is received.

07-09-2018

FAQ-S&B-9
Q: When will bid assurance collateral be returned to Bidders with Project(s) that were not selected in the New Solar RFP?

Under the New Solar RFP, if a Project is not selected in either of the two procurement events, cash provided as bid assurance collateral will be returned as soon as practicable after the Commission decision on the second procurement event (assuming that the Company has received proper documentation from the Bidder). A Letter of Credit provided as bid assurance collateral will be left to expire as part of its terms.

07-09-2018

FAQ-S&B-10
Q: Should we submit an amendment to our Pre-Bid Letter of Credit directly to the Company or to the Illinois Power Agency?

Any amendment to your Pre-Bid Letter of Credit should be provided directly to the Company.

07-09-2018

FAQ-S&B-11
Q: In addition to providing the fully executed requests for the return of cash, are there any additional steps that a Bidder is required to take to initiate the return of cash by the Companies?

No, if a Bidder provided cash as bid assurance collateral under the New Solar RFP, such Bidder is required to provide fully executed requests for the return of cash to each Company. The return of cash is initiated by the Company on the date at which such executed request is received.

07-09-2018

FAQ-S&B-12
Q: Were RECs from brownfield site photovoltaic projects procured in the second procurement event under the New Solar RFP? It is not clear from the Information Release posted on May 2, 2018. Also, please provide some additional details on upcoming brownfield site photovoltaic project procurements.

The Procurement Administrator released the results of the New Solar RFP in accordance with Section 16-111.5(h) of the Public Utilities Act and prior Commission Orders, and no additional information is available.

In its draft Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan, the Illinois Power Agency (“IPA”) proposed to hold a forward procurement for Brownfield Solar in 2018. This procurement was approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission in its Final Order released on April 3, 2018. Unlike the Initial Forward Procurement, there is a quantity of 80,000 RECs set aside to be procured specifically from brownfield site photovoltaic projects. In previous events, there was no set aside quantity for brownfield site photovoltaic projects so that RECs from utility-scale solar projects and from brownfield site photovoltaic projects competed against each other.

The calendar for this procurement is available on the Calendar page of the procurement website:

https://www.ipa-energyrfp.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/IPA-2018-Brownfield-and-Utility-Scale-Solar-Calendar_24-MAY-2018.pdf

For additional information, please check the dedicated Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar Procurement page of the procurement website, which will be updated as more information becomes available:

https://www.ipa-energyrfp.com/brownfield-and-utility-scale-solar/

07-10-2018

FAQ-S&B-13
Q: Have the collateral requirements under the REC Contract been finalized?

The Procurement Administrator will post the draft REC Contract along with an invitation to submit comments on Friday, July 13, 2018.  The draft REC Contract will specify the collateral requirement and stakeholders may comment on any specific provisions.  If necessary, there will be an additional invitation to comment on the draft REC Contract as it applies to utility-scale solar projects and brownfield site photovoltaic projects later in the fall. The final REC Contract for the Utility-Scale Wind RFP will be posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2018, and the final REC Contract for the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP will be posted on Monday, October 15, 2018.

If you have not done so already, please join our mailing list to receive updates and information by completing the automated form on the Register page. An announcement will be sent to the mailing list when the draft REC Contract and invitation to submit comments have been posted.

07-10-2018

FAQ-S&B-14
Q: Must both the bid assurance collateral and the collateral requirement under the contract be posted by the Bid Date?

Bid Assurance Collateral is submitted with the Part 2 Proposal, which is due on the Part 2 Date. The Part 2 Date for the upcoming Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar procurement events is November 14, 2018.

The Collateral Requirement is posted only if a Project has a winning Bid that is approved by the Commission. The Collateral Requirement is posted upon contract execution.

While these dates have been published on the Calendar page of the RFP website, the RFP Rules and other documents have not yet been posted. The RFP Documents will be issued on October 16, 2018 and a webcast, which will provide details on both the bid assurance collateral and credit requirements under the contract, will be held on October 17, 2018.

If you have not done so already, please join our mailing list to receive updates and information by completing the automated form on the Register page. An announcement will be sent to the mailing list when the webcast is announced and again when the RFP Documents have been issued.

07-10-2018

FAQ-S&B-15
Q: Can you please provide a copy of any specifications and/or documents associated with the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP?

The Procurement Administrator posted the draft REC Contract along with an invitation to submit comments on Friday, July 13, 2018 to the dedicated Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar Procurement page of the procurement website here:

https://www.ipa-energyrfp.com/brownfield-and-utility-scale-solar/

The Procurement Administrator will post preliminary proposal documents by Thursday, August 30, 2018 and will issue the RFP Documents by Tuesday, October 16, 2018. These documents will be posted to the same page.

If you have not done so already, please join our mailing list to receive updates and information by completing the automated form on the Register page. An announcement will be sent to the mailing list when the preliminary proposal documents and the RFP Documents have been issued.

07-18-2018

FAQ-S&B-16
Q: Are comments on the draft Solar REC Contract due on Monday, July 23, 2018 or is the executed version of the Solar REC Contract due?

Monday, July 23, 2018 is the deadline to submit comments on the draft Solar REC Contract for the procurement events under the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP. This draft Solar REC Contract is proposed to be the standard contract form between each winning supplier and Ameren Illinois Company, Commonwealth Edison Company or MidAmerican Energy Company. An executed version of the REC Contract is not due at this time.

The draft Solar REC Contract and the Invitation to Comment, which includes a description of the timeline and process for providing comments, are available on the dedicated Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP page here:

https://www.ipa-energyrfp.com/brownfield-and-utility-scale-solar/draft-documents/

07-23-2018

FAQ-S&B-17
Q: If we do not submit comments on the draft Solar REC Contract are we still eligible to participate in the procurement events under the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP?

Participation in the comment process for the draft Solar REC Contract is optional. An entity that does not submit comments is not ineligible to participate in the procurement events under the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP for that reason.

07-23-2018

FAQ-S&B-18
Q: Will there be any competitive procurements for solar projects under 2MW this Fall?

The Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar Procurement seeks to procure 2 million RECs delivered annually from new utility-scale solar projects (projects over 2 MW); and 80,000 RECs delivered annually from new brownfield site photovoltaic projects. There is no size requirement related to brownfield site photovoltaic projects.

For information pertaining to the Adjustable Block Program proposed as part of the Illinois Power Agency’s Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (“LTRRPP”), please visit the IPA’s website: https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/ipa/Pages/Renewable_Resources.aspx

07-31-2018

FAQ-S&B-19
Q: I participated in a prior procurement event. Which of the accounts that I was issued at the time will remain valid for the upcoming Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP?

If you qualified a solar or brownfield project in a prior procurement event, all accounts provided to you under Wind and Solar RFP and/or the New Solar RFP remain valid.  If you are presenting a Project to the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP that you presented in a prior procurement event using a particular account, we encourage you to use the same account for presenting this Project again in the upcoming RFP.  The accounts previously issued to you will be unlocked for your use prior to Thursday, October 18, 2018, the date of the opening of the Part 1 Window for the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP.

You will receive an email from the Procurement Administrator prior to Thursday, October 18, 2018 inquiring whether you still have your login credentials or whether you need these re-issued.  If you are presenting additional Projects, please let us know so that we may issue additional accounts to you.

08-31-2018

FAQ-S&B-20
Q: Could you please let us know the amount of bid assurance collateral that will be required by the Fall 2018 Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP?

The RFP Documents for the Fall 2018 Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP are expected to be posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2018. We take note of your request and the Procurement Administrator will endeavor to provide participants an early release information that includes the amount of bid assurance collateral.

09-11-2018

On August 30, 2018, the Procurement Administrator posted Appendix 4 – Minimum Requirements for Letter of Intent, Memorandum of Understanding, or Other Document to the dedicated Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar Draft Documents page. This document lists the documentation that may be used to fulfill this requirement and the minimum requirements should a Seller or Bidder choose to develop its own document that meets its business needs. Additional information will be provided in the RFP Documents, which will posted no later than Tuesday, October 16, 2018.

10-02-2018

FAQ-S&B-22
Q: Can you send the Part 1 Notification earlier than Monday, November 5, 2018 to Bidders that submit the Part 1 Proposal materials early in the Part 1 Window?

The Part 1 Notification is sent to Bidders no later than a specified date, Monday, November 5, 2018, and this date does not depend on when the Part 1 Proposal was submitted. As part of the review process of the Part 1 Proposal, the Procurement Administrator will send a notice to you when the Part 1 Proposal is complete and being considered, which could occur much earlier than the date specified for the Part 1 Notification.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-23
Q: Will the Procurement Administrator post the presentation slides and audio recording from the bidder information webcast?

Yes. The Procurement Administrator has posted the presentation slides and audio recording from the bidder information webcast held on October 17, 2018 to the Final Materials page of the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar section of the procurement website.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-24
Q: Why did the maximum amount of bid assurance collateral to be tendered increase compared to the maximum amount required under the New Solar RFP?

One objective of the bid assurance collateral is for the bidder to show that the bidder will be able to meet the Collateral Requirement under the REC Contract. Not meeting the Collateral Requirement would lead to supplier default, termination of the REC Contract, and failure of the procurement event to procure the number of RECs intended.

The Collateral Requirement under the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP increased for two reasons.  First, there was an increase in the Collateral Requirement under the REC Contract and the increase in bid assurance collateral is consistent with this fact.  Second, the target of 2,000,000 RECs is substantially larger than the target under the New Solar RFP and thus the maximum amounts have increased to be consistent with the higher Collateral Requirement that could be due under the REC Contract.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-25
Q: Does the Illinois Power Agency currently have any future procurements planned for utility-scale solar?

The Illinois Power Agency does not have any procurements for utility-scale solar planned for 2019.  However, there may be future procurements planned for 2020, which would be proposed as part of the IPA’s next Long-Term Renewables Resources Procurement Plan.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-26
Q: Can we account for degradation over the term of the contract in our Bid?

No, the quantity of RECs included in the bid represents a fixed quantity to be delivered in each delivery year under the terms of the REC Contract. There are provisions in the Solar REC Contract that allow the Seller to bank RECs at the beginning of the contract to be delivered at the end of the term.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-27
Q: Can I submit a Proposal for multiple Projects if they are sited on the same parcel and share a point of interconnection?

A Project for purposes of the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP has or will have a single revenue quality meter that satisfies the requirements of the applicable regional transmission organization, transmission provider, or distribution company, and that measures or will measure its generation output.  Thus, for each Project to be presented in a separate Proposal, each Project would need to be separately metered and have two accounts registered in PJM EIS GATS or M-RETS.

Assuming both Projects are separate in that sense, both Projects could be presented through the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar; such co-location may lead to additional requirements in terms of site control documentation.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-28
Q: If we have a successful brownfield PV site project in the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP, can we site a different project on the same parcel at a later date and be able to qualify that other project under the Adjustable Block Program?

The Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP and the Adjustable Block Program have separate rules and requirements with no overlap. Currently, there are no requirements that would prohibit this.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-29
Q: What happens if Shortfall Amounts (as the term is defined in the REC Contract) are cumulatively less than the Annual Quantity?

It is an event of default under the contract if: (i) Seller fails to meet the Delivery Year Requirement for three (3) or more years, AND (ii) the Shortfall Amounts (as the term is defined in the REC Contract) cumulatively equals or exceeds the annual quantity. Both conditions must be triggered for such event of default to occur. If the Shortfall Amounts are less than the Annual Quantity, there is no event of default.  However, payment to the Seller is based on the RECs delivered, so shortfalls would lead to missed revenue under the REC Contract.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-30
Q: Can we change the annual quantity from what was submitted in the Bid after the Bid Date?

No, the quantity of RECs included in the Bid represents the annual quantity to be delivered in each delivery year under the terms of the REC Contract and cannot be changed at a later date.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-31
Q: Is it a requirement for the Seller to be rated? Does the Seller have to have a Guarantor?

It is not a requirement for the Seller to be rated. It is not a requirement for the Seller to have a Guarantor. A Project that has a Seller that is not rated and that does not have a rated Guarantor will not be required to provide financial information in the Part 1 Proposal.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-32
Q: If we are submitting a Proposal for a single Project and the Seller is a special purpose entity, is this entity both the Seller and the Bidder?

Yes, if the Bidder is presenting a Proposal for a single Project, the Bidder and the Seller must be the same entity.  In this case, if the Seller is a special purpose entity, then the Bidder must be identified as this special purpose entity as well.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-33
Q: Will our solid waste permit serve as evidence that our site is regulated by the IEPA under the Solid Waste Program?

A solid waste permit is appropriate documentation to demonstrate that the site is regulated by the IEPA Solid Waste Program. The documentation must be dated no earlier than 15 years prior to the Bid Date. The Procurement Administrator will evaluate the permit and its consistency with the RFP Rules during its review of your Part 1 Proposal.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-34
Q: Please provide an example of the amount of bid assurance collateral required to be posted by a 10 MW Project.

A Bidder must submit bid assurance collateral for the Project in the form of cash or a letter of credit to each of AIC, ComEd, and MEC. For a 10 MW Project, a Bidder is required to submit $55,000 (10 x $5,500) to AIC, $130,000 (10 x $13,000) to ComEd, and $10,000 (10 x $1,000) to MEC. Payment must be made to each of the three Companies separately.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-35
Q: If our Project is not selected under the RFP, will our bid assurance collateral be returned?

Yes, if a Bidder posts bid assurance collateral and the Projects is not selected, the full amount of the bid assurance collateral will be returned within the timeframes provided in the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-36
Q: Can we increase the size of the Project to compensate for underperformance in REC deliveries during the contract term?

Yes.  A Bidder does not commit to a MW size of the Project in the Proposal; a Bidder commits to delivering a given annual quantity under the terms of the REC Contract.

Please note that with each REC delivery, the Seller will be required to represent that at least 50% of the Project is located within the physical location identified as the Project site in the Proposal.

10-19-2018

As stated in Article 6 of the Solar REC Contract, “Force Majeure may include delays in the establishment by the Project of an operating interconnection with the applicable transmission or distribution system as a result of the actions or inactions of the transmission or distribution provider, provided Seller can demonstrate to Buyer that such delay is not primarily attributable to Seller’s failure to make in a timely manner a formal request for interconnection to such transmission or distribution provider or to provide in a timely manner the information or payment required by such transmission or distribution provider.”  Each Bidder must assess and evaluate the term of the REC Contract.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-38
Q: If the permit that we provide as documentation to demonstrate that the site is regulated by the IEPA Solid Waste Program is insufficient, will we be notified during the Part 1 Window?

Yes, generally if your Part 1 Proposal is incomplete or requires clarification, the Procurement Administrator will send a deficiency notice to the Bidder. If the permit provided is insufficient, the Procurement Administrator will provide an explanation and request additional information in that notice. A Bidder is generally given until the Part 1 Date or two (2) business days to respond to a first deficiency notice.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-39
Q: Can you please provide delivery instructions and addresses for each Company for purposes of submitting pre-bid letters of credit for bid assurance collateral and post-bid letters of credit under the REC Contract?

Delivery instructions and addresses for each Company for purposes of submitting pre-bid letters of credit for bid assurance collateral are available from the Procurement Administrator upon request.  In regards to posting Performance Assurance under the REC Contract, each Company will reach out directly to Bidders with Projects that are selected through the RFP after the Illinois Commerce Commission renders its decision on the results.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-40
Q: If the Seller’s Guarantor is not rated by Moody’s, Fitch or S&P, is it the case that the Guarantor would fall into the “Below BBB-“ with a $0 Collateral Threshold as defined in Table A of the REC Agreement? Can the Guarantor nevertheless post cash as Performance Assurance on behalf of the Seller?

An unrated Guarantor will have a Collateral Threshold of $0 and will not receive any unsecured credit under the Solar REC Contract. An unrated Guarantor may still post the required Performance Assurance as cash on behalf of the Seller.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-41
Q: Will the RFP documents for the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP be publicly available on the ipa-energyrfp.com website? Or will I need to set up a password to access the documents?

The RFP Documents are available on the Final Materials page of the dedicated Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP page of the procurement website here. You do not need a password to access the RFP documents.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-42
Q: If we are presenting a single Project, do we provide bid assurance collateral to each of the Companies or just to the Company whose territory the Project is located in?

A Bidder must submit bid assurance collateral for the Project in the form of cash or a letter of credit to each of AIC, ComEd, and MEC no matter where it is located.

10-19-2018

FAQ-S&B-43
Q: Please confirm the required amounts for the bid assurance collateral and the collateral requirement under the REC Contract.

The amount of bid assurance collateral required for a Project is determined separately for each Company and is the same whether the Bidder submits cash or a letter of credit to each of AIC, ComEd, and MEC.

  • The amount of bid assurance collateral required for AIC is $5,500/MW and need not exceed $5,500,000 across all Utility-Scale Solar Projects presented by a Bidder or $275,000 across all brownfield site photovoltaic Projects presented by a Bidder.
  • The amount of bid assurance collateral required for ComEd is $13,000/MW and need not exceed $13,000,000 across all Utility-Scale Solar Projects presented by a Bidder or $650,000 across all brownfield site photovoltaic Projects presented by a Bidder.
  • The amount of bid assurance collateral required for MEC is $1,000/MW and need not exceed $1,000,000 across all Utility-Scale Solar Projects presented by a Bidder or $50,000 across all brownfield site photovoltaic Projects presented by a Bidder.

Additional information on bid assurance collateral, including the required amounts, is provided in Section V.2. Bid Assurance Collateral in the RFP Rules.

The collateral requirement under the REC Contract is $10 times the Annual Quantity and is subject to a minimum of $50,000. Please note that under the REC Contract, a Project must deliver at least one REC to each Company on or before May 31, 2021 unless such deadline is extended to May 31, 2022 by the Seller opting to meet an increased collateral requirement. Additional information is available in the REC Contract.

10-22-2018

FAQ-S&B-44
Q: Does the Pre-Bid Letter of Credit expire at the same time that a Seller that has a Project with approved Bids posts the collateral requirement or is there a potential overlap in December?

There may be a period in December when both the Pre-Bid and Post-Bid Letters of Credit are in place at the same time. The Pre-Bid Letter of Credit under the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP expires as part of its terms on December 21, 2018, seventeen business days after the Bid Date.

If a Seller has a Project with approved Bids, by 12 PM CPT (noon) on the first business day after the ICC decision (December 5, 2018), each Company prepares and sends a partially executed electronic copy of the REC Contract and related documents to the Seller. By 12 PM CPT (1 PM Eastern Prevailing Time) on the next business day, the Seller executes the signature pages of the partially executed REC Contracts and related documents and sends such fully executed signature pages to the Company electronically.

Under the REC Contract, the Performance Assurance is due within five (5) business days of a request from the Company.  Such a request can be issued at the start of the formalities for the execution of the REC Contract.  If Seller fails to provide Performance Assurance within 5 business days of this request, an event of default shall be deemed to have occurred.

10-22-2018

FAQ-S&B-45
Q: If we already paid the Bid Participation Fee pursuant to participation in a prior 2018 procurement event, but we are participating as a different Bidder, are we required to pay the fee again?

If the Bidder changed since the prior 2018 procurement event you will be required to pay the Bid Participation Fee again in this RFP even if the Legal Name of Seller remains the same. If the Bidder is presenting Proposals for multiple Projects under the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP, the Bidder is only required to pay a single Bid Participation Fee no matter how many Sellers are named.

10-22-2018

FAQ-S&B-46
Q: The required documentation to demonstrate that our brownfield site is regulated by one of the Programs listed in the Act is dated earlier than 15 years prior to the Bid Date. Does this disqualify the Project from participating in the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP? Are there any other methods to qualify as a Brownfield site?

As a requirement of the Part 1 Proposal under the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP, the Bidder must submit appropriate documentation, dated no earlier than 15 years prior to the Bid Date, to demonstrate that the site is regulated by one of the following four Programs: (i) the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (“CERCLA”), as amended; or (ii) the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the Corrective Action Program of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”), as amended; or (iii) the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency under the Illinois Solid Waste Program (“IEPA Solid Waste Program”); or (iv) the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency under the Illinois Site Remediation Program (“IEPA Site Remediation Program”).

The Bidder must submit appropriate documentation, dated no earlier than 15 years prior to the Bid Date.  The following documentation is sufficient:  (i) for CERCLA, a site assessment, remedy decision, cleanup plan, or similar document; (ii) for RCRA, a demonstration of the U.S. EPA requiring corrective action such as a permit application, administrative order, court order, or equivalent document; (iii) for the IEPA Solid Waste Program, a solid waste permit; and (iv) for the IEPA Site Remediation Program, a Site Investigation Report, or a Remedial Action Plan, or a Remedial Action Completion Report, or a No Further Remediation Letter.  Additional requirements apply to sites regulated by the IEPA Site Remediation Program.

The Procurement Administrator will consider other forms of documentation provided by the Bidder to demonstrate regulation under the above Programs; however, such documentation must also be dated no earlier than 15 years prior to the Bid Date.  Ultimately, if your Project does not satisfy the requirements for brownfield sites under this RFP, but your Project size is more than 2 MW (AC rating), then you may choose to participate as a utility-scale solar project instead.  The RFP Rules provide the differences in the requirements between the two Categories of Projects (brownfield site photovoltaic versus utility-scale solar).  Please note that Bids for the two Categories of Projects are evaluated separately; this implies that if you choose to participate as a utility-scale solar project, the price in your Bid will compete against the prices submitted by other utility-scale solar projects.

10-23-2018

FAQ-S&B-47
Q: Please confirm the Date of First Operation must be on or before March 30, 2022. Was this deadline set assuming that the Seller posts the increased collateral requirement to extend the deadline to deliver at least one REC to May 31, 2022?

Under the REC Contract, a Project must deliver at least one REC to each Company on or before May 31, 2021 unless such deadline is extended to May 31, 2022 by the Seller opting to meet an increased collateral requirement.

The Date of First Operation is information that is required in the Part 1 Proposal as part of the information about the Project, along with information about site control and milestones achieved. The Date of First Operation provided in the Part 1 Proposal is required to be March 30, 2022 or before. As you point out, this requirement was set recognizing that the Seller may post increased collateral requirement to extend the deadline for first REC delivery to May 31, 2022, and accounting for the required time for RECs to be produced according to PJM EIS GATS and M-RETS procedures.

10-24-2018

FAQ-S&B-48
Q: If we already paid the Bid Participation Fee pursuant to participation in a prior 2018 procurement event are we required to pay the fee again?

The answer depends on if the Bidder has changed. Should you present one or more projects under the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP and the Bidder is unchanged, you are not required to pay the Bid Participation Fee in this RFP. If the Bidder changed since the prior 2018 procurement event, however, you will be required to pay the Bid Participation Fee again in this RFP.

10-24-2018

FAQ-S&B-49
Q: The name of the project that was used in the pre-approval application to the IPA for our out-of-state Project has since changed. Should we note this in the Part 1 Proposal or what other actions are required?

Yes, please provide a statement to that effect in Section 7. Justification of Omission in the online Part 1 Form so that the Procurement Administrator can confirm the Project has obtained pre-approval with the Illinois Power Agency. No other action is required in this regard.

10-24-2018

FAQ-S&B-50
Q: Has the scenario where the last available documentation for brownfield site is older than 15 years prior to the Bid Date (and thus the site will fail the requirement) been envisaged under this RFP?

Under this RFP, sites for which the last available documentation for the brownfield site is older than 15 years would not fulfill the requirements for “brownfield site photovoltaic projects” under the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP.

A goal of the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP is to support the development of brownfield sites within Illinois to help return blighted or contaminated land to productive use. As defined in the Public Act 99-0906 (“the Act”), brownfield site photovoltaic project means only photovoltaic projects that are: (1) interconnected to an electric utility, a municipal utility, a public utility, or an electric cooperative as defined by the Act; and (2) located at a site that is regulated by one of the entities and four programs listed in the Act.  To comply with this statutory language, the IPA proposed in draft guidelines that any documentation issued by or filed with the relevant authority must be dated no earlier than 15 years prior to the Bid Date, understanding that this requirement may exclude sites that have been fully remediated for a longer period while allowing participation from some sites that may no longer currently be regulated by one of the entities under the Act’s four delineated programs. An invitation to comment on the “Draft Brownfield Site PV Guidelines”, including this timing requirement, was issued on September 17, 2018 and an announcement was sent to website registrants. As the comments received did not provide a clear direction or alternative to these draft guidelines, this 15-year requirement was maintained for the RFP Rules.

While the parameters used in this RFP could potentially change for any future brownfield site procurements, under the current Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP, Projects without documentation within the last 15 years cannot meet the qualification standards for brownfield site photovoltaic projects.  However, please be aware that any such Project, if it is greater than 2 MW in size, may meet the requirements for a utility-scale solar project under this RFP.

10-24-2018

FAQ-S&B-51
Q: If we present a single Project and are awarded REC Contracts for that Project, can we assign a portion of the Project to a second entity after the fact?

There are no provisions in the REC Contract to accommodate a partial assignment. Also, the quantity of RECs included in the Bid for a Project represents the annual quantity to be delivered in each delivery year under the terms of the REC Contract and cannot be changed at a later date. Thus, it is not possible to assign a portion of the RECs to another entity under a separate REC Contract.

10-24-2018

FAQ-S&B-52
Q: Can the same Seller submit two separate projects that may be in the same location?

Please note that the Bidder is the entity submitting the Proposal while the Seller is the entity that would be executing the REC Contracts if the Project is selected and approved by the Commission. A Bidder may submit multiple Projects and these Projects can have the same or different Sellers. Please also note that a Project for purposes of the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP has or will have a single revenue quality meter that satisfies the requirements of the applicable regional transmission organization, transmission provider, or distribution company, and that measures or will measure its generation output.  Thus, for each Project presented in a separate Proposal must be separately metered and have its own account in PJM EIS GATS or M-RETS. If the Projects are co-located there may be additional requirements in terms of site control documentation.

10-24-2018

FAQ-S&B-53
Q: At the planning stage of our Project located in a state adjacent to Illinois, we obtained pre-approval of the Project’s eligibility for the Illinois RPS. Our Project is now operational. Is there any action required on our part for the Project’s eligibility for the Illinois RPS? What should we provide as documentation in our Proposal to the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP?

For a Project that is not yet operational, the Long-Term Procurement Plan states:

“In the case of a new adjacent-state facility that is not yet operational (and thus also not registered in GATS or M-RETS), an owner may submit a request for determination of eligibility based upon the planned design of the facility. Such a submittal must also include documentation from the applicable RTO (or utility for distributed resources) that the facility has entered the interconnection queue and is actively pursuing an interconnection agreement. If the Agency determines that the planned facility does meet the public interest criteria, then it will grant a pre-approval of the eligibility. It will be the responsibility of the facility owner to notify the IPA and the tracking system once the facility is operational to request being coded as eligible for the Illinois RPS in the applicable tracking system. The Agency will review final system information to verify consistency with the information submitted for the pre-approval.”

Thus, for a Project that is not yet operational, there are two steps: a first step for pre-approval before the project is operational, and then a review by the IPA in a second step once the Project is operational AND registered in a tracking system to confirm eligibility.  In the second step, the IPA will verify consistency of the information submitted for pre-approval with the information provided through the tracking system upon registration of the system.

If a Project is operational and registered in a tracking system, and if such a Project is presented in a Proposal to the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP (“RFP”), then the Project should provide with the Part 1 Proposal confirmation of its eligibility status for the Illinois RPS from the second step.  If the Project is not yet registered in GATS or M-RETS, the Project is between the first step and the second step.  If such a Project is presented in a Proposal to the RFP, the Bidder should explain that pre-approval was obtained, that the Project is not registered in a tracking system, and thus that final eligibility for the Illinois RPS has not yet been determined.  While such a Project may participate in the RFP, please note that any risk associated with the IPA not being able to confirm the Project’s eligibility for the Illinois RPS is entirely borne by the Bidder.

10-31-2018

FAQ-S&B-54
Q: By how much does the Collateral Requirement increase if the Seller elects to extend the REC Delivery Deadline to May 31, 2022?

Under the REC Contract, the Collateral Requirement is $10 times the Annual Quantity and is subject to a minimum of $50,000. The Increased Collateral Requirement is $20 times the Annual Quantity and is subject to a minimum of $100,000. In effect, should the Seller elect to extend the REC Delivery Deadline from May 31, 2021 to May 31, 2022, the Seller must post double the amount.

11-01-2018

FAQ-S&B-55
Q: If the Seller delivers less than the Delivery Year Requirement in the first Delivery Year, but meets the requirement in each of the remaining Delivery Years, will the Performance Assurance be forfeited?

No, the Performance Assurance will not be forfeited in that case.

The REC Contract with a Company will be terminated and the Performance Assurance is forfeited if: (a) you fail to meet the Delivery Year Requirement in any 3 or more Delivery Years, and (b) the amount of shortfalls equals or exceeds the Annual Quantity.

Please note that the “3 or more Delivery Years” need not be consecutive; and the Delivery Year Requirement in the first 365 days under the REC Contract is 50% of the Annual Quantity.

11-01-2018

FAQ-S&B-56
Q: Are we able to submit increased collateral to extend the REC Delivery Deadline after contracts are signed? Or does a bidder need to submit increased bid assurance collateral at the time of the Part 2 Proposal?

The bid assurance collateral due with the Part 2 Proposal is the same regardless of the expected Date of First Operation of the Project.  The option to satisfy an increased collateral requirement to extend the REC Delivery Deadline to May 31, 2022 only applies during the term of the REC Contract.

11-01-2018

FAQ-S&B-57
Q: Please provide contact information for a representative at each of the Companies so that I may communicate with them regarding the acceptability of my Pre-Bid Letter of Credit.

Please direct all questions regarding your Pre-Bid Letters of Credit to the Procurement Administrator via the Contact Us page or by email to Illinois-RFP@nera.com. While the Pre-Bid Letters of Credit must be sent directly to each Company, the Procurement Administrator will communicate with the bidder on behalf of the Companies regarding the acceptability of the Pre-Bid Letters of Credit.

11-01-2018

FAQ-S&B-58
Q: Is a Word version of the Final REC Contract, posted on October 15, 2018, available?

A Word version of the Final REC Contract posted on October 15, 2018 is not available. The Final REC Contract is posted as a pdf on the Final Materials page of the dedicated Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar section of the procurement website here: https://www.ipa-energyrfp.com/?wpfb_dl=1796

11-01-2018

FAQ-S&B-59
Q: Is it correct that the Collateral Requirement is only posted if a Project has a winning Bid approved by the Commission?

Bid Assurance Collateral is submitted with the Part 2 Proposal, which is due on the Part 2 Date. The Part 2 Date for the upcoming Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar procurement events is November 14, 2018.

The Collateral Requirement is posted only if a Project has a winning Bid that is approved by the Commission. The Collateral Requirement in the form of a Post-Bid Letter of Credit (provided as Exhibit C) or cash is posted upon contract execution. The collateral requirement under the REC Contract is $10 times the Annual Quantity and is subject to a minimum of $50,000. Please note that under the REC Contract, a Project must deliver at least one REC to each Company on or before May 31, 2021 unless such deadline is extended to May 31, 2022 by the Seller opting to meet an increased collateral requirement. Additional information is available in the REC Contract.

11-01-2018

FAQ-S&B-60
Q: If a Bidder submits a successful Part 1 and Part 2 Proposal, but elects not to submit a Bid, will the bid assurance collateral be returned to the Bidder?

Yes. The circumstance of a Bidder not submitting a Bid is not a reason for drawing on bid assurance collateral or for bid assurance collateral not to be returned. There is no penalty for not submitting a Bid.

11-02-2018

FAQ-S&B-61
Q: Please provide a redline of the Final REC Contract for the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP (posted on October 15, 2018) to the final contract used for the Spring 2018 New Solar RFP held under the 2017-2018 Initial Forward Procurements.

The redline will be posted to the Final Materials page of the dedicated Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar section of the procurement website by close of business on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

11-02-2018

FAQ-S&B-62
Q: What is the payment cap referenced in Section 3(i) of the REC Contract?

The payment cap referenced in Section 3(i) of the Coversheet is found in Section 2.2 of the Master REC Agreement as modified in the Coversheet. This payment cap is a cumulative amount of payment that Buyer may not exceed under the contract and is equal to the product of the Purchase Price and the Maximum Contract Quantity, plus interest on late payments.

11-06-2018

FAQ-S&B-63
Q: Is Bidder Training done online and over the phone, or is it an in-person training?

Bidder Training is done online and over the phone, and not done in-person.  The Bidder Training consists of time set aside for Bidders to practice completing and submitting their Bid Forms.  The Procurement Administrator is available at that time to evaluate the Bid Forms and to answer questions.

The schedule for Bidder Training is provided in the attachment entitled “4 Invitation to Bidder Training” provided to you with your Part 1 Notification. Instructions for completing and submitting the Bid Form are provided in “2 Bid Form Guide”, also provided as an attachment to your Part 1 Notification. Finally, you must use the confidential information provided in the attachment 3a (with the yellow border) for access to the secure file transfer interface that you will use to submit your Bids.

11-06-2018

FAQ-S&B-64
Q: Suppose a Seller posts additional Performance Assurance so that the Delivery Term will start on May 31, 2022 when the Seller delivers the first REC. If the Project starts generating RECs in March 2022, can we bank the RECs generated between these two dates to use during the Delivery Term when we have a Shortfall Year?

You are incorrectly assuming that if the Seller posts sufficient additional Performance Assurance, then the Seller will have the option to deliver the first REC on May 31, 2022 and this is when the Delivery Term will start. The Delivery Term starts on the date that the first REC is issued by PJM EIS GATS or M-RETS. If the Seller posts sufficient Performance Assurance to satisfy the Increased Collateral Requirement, and the Project becomes operational in March 2022, then the Delivery Term starts once the first REC is issued thereafter. Please see Section 1.22.2 of the Master REC Agreement.

11-06-2018

FAQ-S&B-65
Q: Is there a penalty if a Seller submits increased collateral to extend the REC delivery deadline to May 31, 2022, but the Date of First Operation of the Project is after March 30, 2022?

The Date of First Operation is information that is required in the Part 1 Proposal as part of the information about the Project, along with information about site control and milestones achieved. The Date of First Operation appears in the REC Contract in that a Project must be “new” and thus it must be that its Date of First Operation did not occur on or before June 1, 2017. Assuming that the Project is new, deadlines for the Project under the REC Contract to become operational are deadlines for the first REC Delivery.

11-06-2018

FAQ-S&B-66
Q: Is a Project that is a Qualifying Facility under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (“PURPA”) disqualified from participating in the Brownfield and Utility-Scale RFP?

The IPA understands that the provision in Section 1-75(c)(1)(J) of the Act which states “renewable energy credits shall not be eligible to be counted toward the renewable energy requirements of this subsection (c) if they are sourced from a generating unit whose costs were being recovered through rates regulated by this State or any other state or states on or after January 1, 2017” was generally intended to ensure that facilities owned by a vertically integrated utility, for which REC revenues may be incidental to building and financing the facility, would not be eligible. The IPA states in its Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan that “the Agency believes that being a Qualifying Facility under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (“PURPA”) (and also meeting the other aspects of the requirements of the Illinois RPS), would not be disqualifying because the Qualifying Facility does not directly recover its costs through rates; rather, it is compensated for its energy at the purchasing utility’s avoided cost rate.”

Please consult Section 4.2 of the IPA’s Long-Term Renewable Resources Plan for an interpretation of this section of the Act and for the manner in which the IPA intends to establish whether a facility’s cost is or is not recovered through rates regulated by a state.

11-06-2018

The RFP Documents and the REC Contract are posted to the Final Materials page of the dedicated Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar Procurement page of the procurement website here:

https://www.ipa-energyrfp.com/brownfield-and-utility-scale-solar/

11-12-2018

FAQ-S&B-68
Q: Can we reduce the size of the Project from what was submitted in the Part 1 Proposal?

The size of the Project as provided in your Part 1 Proposal cannot be revised at the Part 2 Proposal stage.  The amount of bid assurance collateral due is proportional to the size of the Project provided in your Part 1 Proposal and if you provide a lesser amount, your Proposal will be deficient and you may be unable to submit Bids.

Please note, however, that a Bidder does not commit to a MW size of the Project through its Proposal; rather, a Bidder commits in its Bid to delivering a given annual quantity under the terms of the REC Contract.

11-12-2018

FAQ-S&B-69
Q: Can you please extend the deadline for providing bid assurance collateral?

No, an extension is not possible. A Bidder must submit its Part 2 Proposal including bid assurance collateral, (but excluding Bids), by 12 PM (noon) on the Part 2 Date, which is November 14, 2018. Information and documents required by the Part 2 Proposal must be provided through the online Part 2 Form and bid assurance collateral must be submitted directly to each Company.

If on the Part 2 Date, a bidder submits information and documents through the online Part 2 form, but does not provide the bid assurance collateral, the Part 2 Proposal (excluding Bids) is deficient. The Procurement Administrator will send a first deficiency notice to the Bidder. The Bidder will have until 6 PM on the second business day following the business day during which a first deficiency notice is sent to the Bidder to respond.

11-12-2018

FAQ-S&B-70
Q: If we post Performance Assurance in the form of a letter of credit upon contract execution, can we choose to rely on a guarantor at a later date?

This is possible. If the Companies determine that the entity meets the minimum ratings necessary (BBB- from S&P, Baa3 from Moody’s, BBB- from Fitch) to serve as a Guarantor under the terms of the REC Contract, a guaranty may be executed at that time.

11-12-2018

FAQ-S&B-71
Q: Can a Seller that is not eligible for unsecured credit, and has a Project that is approved by the Commission, post a letter of credit as Performance Assurance under the REC Contract?

Yes. A Seller that is not eligible for unsecured credit under the REC Contract, and is not relying on the financial standing of a Guarantor, must post Performance Assurance in the form of a letter of credit or cash.

11-12-2018

FAQ-S&B-72
Q: Can a brownfield site PV project that connects to the local utility distribution system and operates as a qualifying facility qualify under the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP?

Yes. The IPA understands that the provision in Section 1-75(c)(1)(J) of the Act which states “renewable energy credits shall not be eligible to be counted toward the renewable energy requirements of this subsection (c) if they are sourced from a generating unit whose costs were being recovered through rates regulated by this State or any other state or states on or after January 1, 2017” was generally intended to ensure that facilities owned by a vertically integrated utility, for which REC revenues may be incidental to building and financing the facility, would not be eligible. The IPA states in its Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan that “the Agency believes that being a Qualifying Facility under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (“PURPA”) (and also meeting the other aspects of the requirements of the Illinois RPS), would not be disqualifying because the Qualifying Facility does not directly recover its costs through rates; rather, it is compensated for its energy at the purchasing utility’s avoided cost rate.”

Please consult Section 4.2 of the IPA’s Long-Term Renewable Resources Plan for an interpretation of this section of the Act and for the manner in which the IPA intends to establish whether a facility’s cost is or is not recovered through rates regulated by a state.

11-12-2018

FAQ-S&B-73
Q: If another entity is submitting cash as bid assurance collateral on our behalf, is it us (the Bidder) or the is it the other entity that will receive acknowledgment that the bid assurance collateral was received?

The Procurement Administrator will notify the Bidder when bid assurance collateral is received.

If possible, please include a note with the name of the Bidder in the wire transfer to help ensure that the Procurement Administrator recognizes that the Bidder has satisfied the bid assurance collateral requirements. We also remind you that if the “other entity” is also the entity to which cash will be returned, then any draft requests for the return of cash should be on the other entity’s letterhead.

11-13-2018

FAQ-S&B-74
Q: If we submit Pre-Bid Letters of Credit with the Part 2 Proposal, but ultimately decide not to submit a Bid, what happens to our Pre-Bid Letters of Credit?

The Pre-Bid Letters of Credit under the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP expire as part of the terms on December 21, 2018, seventeen business days after the Bid Date. All bid assurance collateral remains in place until the Commission has rendered a decision on the results of the procurement event. After that time, you may submit an amendment to each of the Companies to change the expiration date.

11-13-2018

FAQ-S&B-75
Q: Can a different officer than the individual named as the Officer of the Seller in the Part 1 Proposal make the representations required in the Part 2 Proposal?

No, the Officer of the Seller whose contact information is provided in the Part 1 Proposal must make all representations required in the Part 1 Proposal and in the Part 2 Proposal for a Project.

If the Officer of the Seller named in the Part 1 Proposal is no longer available, the Bidder may name a new Officer of the Seller. This new Officer of the Seller must make all representations required in the Part 2 Proposal and must make all representations required in the Part 1 Proposal also. Thus the Bidder would be required, in its Part 2 Proposal, to re-submit the following materials from the Part 1 Proposal:

  • the name, title, and full contact information (address, phone number(s), and e-mail address) of the Officer of the Seller by email to Illinois-RFP@nera.com or in Section 6. Justification of Omissions in the online Part 2 form;
  • the P1 Project Certifications Insert (#P1-4) signed by the newly named Officer of the Seller by email to Illinois-RFP@nera.com or upload to Section 6. Justification of Omissions in the online Part 2 form; and
  • the P1 Seller Certifications Insert (#P1-5) signed by the newly named Officer of the Seller by email to Illinois-RFP@nera.com or upload to Section 6. Justification of Omissions in the online Part 2 form.
11-13-2018

FAQ-S&B-76
Q: The REC Contract specifies that excess RECs are the “exclusive property of Seller” and may be “utilized in Seller’s sole discretion”. Does this mean that a seller may monetize excess RECs by selling them to a third party (assuming that it is not a shortfall year)?

That is correct. Any RECs generated by the Project in excess of the Delivery Year Requirement in any delivery year during the delivery term are the exclusive property of Seller, to be utilized in Seller’s sole discretion.

11-26-2018

FAQ-S&B-77
Q: Is it possible that the RECs from our Project would “age out” so they cannot be utilized by a third party?

The response depends not only on Illinois law but also on the use to which the third party puts the RECs and thus the question cannot be answered in the abstract. For example, the third party could use the RECs for compliance with renewable portfolio standards in another state that limits the vintage of RECs that can be used (even if no such limitations exist for satisfying the renewable portfolio standards in Illinois at present).

11-26-2018

FAQ-S&B-78
Q: Can excess RECs produced by our Project in the first year be used in any subsequent year to offset a production shortfall?

That is correct. Any RECs generated by the Project in excess of the Delivery Year Requirement in any delivery year during the delivery term can be “banked”, i.e., delivered during any subsequent delivery year to satisfy such subsequent Delivery Year Requirement.

11-26-2018

FAQ-S&B-79
Q: Is there still time to provide comments on the Post-Bid Letter of Credit?

A Bidder may, in its Part 1 Proposal, provide comments on or propose modifications to the Post-Bid Letter of Credit drawn for the benefit of a Company. The Part 1 Window has closed, and the documents provided on November 12, 2018 will not be reviewed. The final lists of acceptable modifications to the Post-Bid Letter of Credit (Option 1) and the Post-Bid Letter of Credit (Option 2) are available on the Final Materials page of the designated Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar section of the procurement website.

11-26-2018

FAQ-S&B-80
Q: Can we change the Seller named in the Part 1 Proposal? Are assignments possible under the REC Contract?

The Seller named in the Part 1 Proposal must be the counterparty to all three (3) Companies for delivery of RECs from the Project.
Assignments are possible under the REC Contract. Generally, the Seller may not assign the REC Contract without the prior written consent of the Buyer, which shall not be unreasonably withheld. However, consent of the Buyer is not required for transfer or assignment to an Affiliate of the Seller if the Affiliate’s creditworthiness is equal to or higher than that of the Seller on the Effective Date. The full conditions under which an assignment can occur are provided in Section 9.2, as amended on the cover sheet (page 18 of the REC Contract as posted on October 15, 2018).

11-26-2018

FAQ-S&B-81
Q: If we have a Project with an approved Bid, will the cash we posted as bid assurance collateral be returned before we post Performance Assurance under the REC Contract?

No. Under the Brownfield and Utility-Scale RFP, each Company initiates the return of the posted cash, for a Seller that has a Project with an approved Bid, once: (1) you have fully executed the REC Contract and provided any required Performance Assurance; (2) you have paid the Supplier Fee to the IPA; and (3) the Company has received an acceptable executed request for the return of cash on the letterhead of the entity to which cash is returned and for which a W‐9 is provided.

11-27-2018

FAQ-S&B-82
Q: What are the addresses for the beneficiaries for the post-bid letter of credit?

If the Commission approves the Bid for a Project, the Procurement Administrator allocates the quantity of RECs selected by the evaluation procedure to each Company. The beneficiary information for each Company for the post-bid letter of credit is provided below:

Managing Supervisor
Credit Risk Management
Attention: Tim Moloney
Ameren Services
1901 Chouteau Avenue, MC 960
St. Louis, MO 63103
(telephone: 314.613.9139)

Scott Vogt
Vice President, Energy Acquisition
Commonwealth Edison Company
1919 Swift Drive
Oak Brook, IL 60523-1502
(telephone: 630.684.3558)

Christy Harger
Director, Risk Management Finance/Accounting
MidAmerican Energy Company
4299 NW Urbandale Drive
Urbandale, IA 50322
(telephone: 515.281.2773)

11-27-2018

FAQ-S&B-83
Q: Is it allowable to post cash as Performance Assurance and then replace this cash with a letter of credit at a later date?

Yes, it is acceptable to first post cash and then replace the cash with a letter of credit at a later point.

11-27-2018

FAQ-S&B-84
Q: Can we submit different prices associated with multiple quantities of RECs from a single Project?

No, this is not acceptable. For a Project, a Bid includes one (1) price per REC for one (1) annual quantity of RECs that the Seller is offering to deliver under the terms of the REC Contract between the Company and the Seller.

11-27-2018

FAQ-S&B-85
Q: If the Commission approves the Bid for a Project, how will the Procurement Administrator allocate the quantity of RECs selected to each Company?

If the Commission approves the Bid for a Project, the Procurement Administrator allocates the quantity of RECs selected by the evaluation procedure to each Company (29.33% to AIC, 70.34% to ComEd, and 0.33% to MEC, subject to rounding).

11-28-2018

FAQ-S&B-86
Q: After we execute the REC Contract, are we required to provide updates to the site description, including the map, as the project site evolves?

No, it is not required to update the site description provided with the Proposal in the future. With each REC delivery, the Seller will be required to represent that at least 50% of the Project is located within the physical location identified in the Proposal.

12-03-2018

FAQ-S&B-87
Q: I noticed that no RECs were procured from brownfield site photovoltaic projects in the latest procurement event. What was the basis for this decision and how could such an outcome arise?

Each bid in the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP consists of a) a proposed quantity of RECs to be delivered annually from the project (based on the project’s nameplate capacity) as well as b) a price to be paid to the Seller for each REC delivered.  Given that the two project types are subject to separate statutory definitions and separate procurement targets under the law, brownfield site photovoltaic projects and utility scale photovoltaic projects were evaluated independently from each other.

For competitive procurement events (such as the brownfield site and utility-scale photovoltaic procurement) Section 1-75(c)(1)(D) of the IPA Act requires that proposed REC prices cannot exceed benchmarks based on market prices or other publicly available data for the region.  Benchmarks are established by the Procurement Administrator, in consultation with the IPA, the Procurement Monitor, and the Staff of the Illinois Commerce Commission, and are subject to the review and approval of the Commission.  Benchmark prices are specific to each category of product being procured, and to protect the integrity of the IPA’s competitive procurement processes, all aspects of the benchmark development process (including the resulting benchmark prices) are treated as confidential.

Consequently, each bid submitted must first meet or beat the benchmark price applicable to that category before proceeding to evaluation.  Bids not exceeding the benchmark price for that category are then ranked in order of price per REC, starting with the lowest price, until the annual REC delivery target for that category is met or until all bids that meet or beat the benchmark price have been ranked.  These bids are selected and identified by the Procurement Administrator to the Commission as winning bids.

12-07-2018

FAQ-S&B-88
Q: Will the number of Bids submitted in the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP be made public?

The results of the Brownfield and Utility-Scale Solar RFP were released in accordance with the Section 15-111.5(h) of the Public Utilities Act and Prior Commission Orders and no other information will be made public.

12-11-2018

FAQ-S&B-89
Q: Will there be another solicitation scheduled for RECs from brownfield site photovoltaic projects or will the target of 80,000 RECs be added to an already planned solicitation?

While the Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (“Plan”) does not have specific provisions for this contingency, the IPA is currently considering options related to a potential subsequent procurement.

12-11-2018