2023 Fall Indexed Wind, Solar, and Brownfield REC RFP (AIC, ComEd, and MEC)

Public Act 102-0662 (the “Climate and Equitable Jobs Act”) was signed into law and became effective on September 15, 2021. In accordance with Public Act 102-0662, the IPA filed its revision to its Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (“2022 Long-Term Plan”) with the Illinois Commerce Commission (“ICC”) on March 21, 2022. The ICC issued a Final Order approving the 2022 Long-Term Plan with modifications on July 14, 2022.

In accordance with the 2022 Long-Term Plan, a procurement for indexed renewable energy credits (“Indexed RECs”) from new utility-scale wind projects (projects over 5 MW), new utility-scale solar projects (projects over 5 MW), and new brownfield site photovoltaic projects under twenty-year contracts was held on December 8, 2023.

The quantities to be procured were 5,600,000 RECs delivered annually from new utility-scale wind projects, 1,100,000 RECs delivered annually from new utility-scale solar projects, and 127,000 RECs delivered annually from new brownfield site photovoltaic projects.

Fall 2023 Indexed REC RFP Calendar (July 25, 2023)
Announcements – Fall 2023 Indexed REC RFP

Click here to view Indexed Wind, Solar, and Brownfield FAQs.


Fall 2023 Indexed Renewable Energy Credit RFP Results


FINAL Fall 2023 Indexed REC RFP Bidder Information Webcast

FINAL Fall 2023 Indexed REC Contract Documents

Redline Comparisons

FINAL Fall 2023 Indexed REC RFP Documents

Digital Signature Instructions


Comment Process on Draft Indexed REC Contract, Draft Preliminary Proposal Requirements

DRAFT Fall 2023 Indexed REC Contract

Draft Preliminary Proposal Requirements and Draft Term Sheet


Fall 2023 Indexed Wind, Solar, and Brownfield FAQs

FAQ-Indexed REC-58
Q: Where can I find more information about participating in an upcoming Indexed REC RFP? Is the Indexed REC Contract for both energy and RECs?

The IPA filed its 2024 Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (“2024 Long-Term Plan”) with the Illinois Commerce Commission (“ICC”) on October 20, 2023 related to procurement activities, including future Indexed REC RFPs, for 2024 and 2025. The 2024 Long-Term Plan remains subject to approval by the ICC. Please see Section 5.6 of the 2024 Long-Term Plan, Table 5-6 in particular, for the proposed schedule for competitive procurements. If approved, the next Indexed REC RFP is expected to be held in Summer 2024.

The timeline and requirements for the Summer 2024 procurement event is expected to be in line with the timeline and requirements for procurement events held in 2023 for utility-scale solar projects. To review the Indexed REC Rules and Indexed REC Contract used in the Fall 2023 Indexed REC Procurement please visit the Final Materials page of the Indexed Wind, Solar, and Brownfield section of the website. A term sheet with procurement elements is also available. Please note that elements of the Summer 2024 RFP Rules and contract are subject to change.

Under the Indexed REC RFP, renewable energy credits (“RECs”) are the sole product being procured, but the contract is based on an indexed price structure. Bidders in the RFP submit a Strike Price ($/MWh), which as defined in the IPA Act, means a contract price for both energy and renewable energy credits from a project. As discussed in Section 2.7.4.1 of the 2022 Long-Term Plan, in regard to the indexed price structure, “Under the Indexed REC pricing structure, a resulting REC price constitutes “the difference resulting from subtracting the strike price from the index price for that settlement period,” with the index price representing “the real-time energy settlement price at the applicable Illinois trading hub.” Under the law, “[i]f this difference results in a negative number, the [buyer] shall owe the seller the absolute value multiplied by the quantity of energy produced in the relevant settlement period.” But [i]f this difference results in a positive number, the seller shall owe the [buyer] this amount multiplied by the quantity of energy produced in the relevant settlement period.”

In Section 2.7.4.1, the IPA explains, “The Agency understands this new Indexed REC pricing approach to offer revenue certainty back to renewable energy project developers in a manner that functions similarly to a bundled fixed price REC + energy off-take agreement. In times when energy revenues are low, REC prices are high; in times when energy revenues are high, REC prices adjust downward accordingly. The end result is revenue certainty regardless of wholesale energy market conditions, hopefully solving financing and development barriers for entities seeking to develop new utility-scale wind and utility-scale solar projects under the Illinois RPS.”

01-25-2024

FAQ-Indexed REC-57
Q: What is the approximate duration of the Indexed REC procurement event?

Historically, an Indexed REC procurement event has taken place over an approximately 4-month timeframe, commencing with a comment process on a draft version of the Indexed REC Contract and preliminary proposal requirements and concluding with contract execution. The qualification process consists of two parts, the Part 1 and Part 2 Proposal, and has typically spanned roughly 7-8 weeks from the opening of the Part 1 Window to the Bid Date.

The RFP calendars from previous procurement events can be found on the procurement website. If you click on the “Previous RFPs” link on the left-hand side of the home page, you can find a list of previous procurements. The previous RFP calendars are posted on each procurement’s archived page. The RFP calendar from the prior event, the Fall 2023 Indexed REC RFP, is linked here for your convenience.

01-18-2024

FAQ-Indexed REC-56
Q: Can the RFP Awarded Annual Quantity be changed or updated under the Indexed REC Contract?

The evaluation of the Bids, which is fully described in Paragraph I.2.11 of the Indexed REC RFP Rules, implies that the number of RECs from the highest-priced Project selected may be less than the full quantity (a “partial award”). For this reason, a Bidder must specify, in addition to the annual full quantity that the Seller is offering to deliver under the Indexed REC Contract, an annual quantity below which the Seller is no longer willing to accept an award under this RFP. Accordingly, a “Bid” for a Project has three (3) elements: (i) a strike price ($/MWh); (ii) a full quantity, which is an annual quantity of RECs that the Seller is offering to deliver under the terms of the Indexed REC Contract; and (iii) a minimum quantity, which is an annual minimum quantity of RECs that the Seller is willing to accept as a partial award. The Seller commits to accept any award with a quantity not less than the minimum quantity and not more than the full quantity at the price specified in the Bid.

The annual quantity that you bid and win in the RFP will be the “RFP Awarded Annual Quantity” in each of the Indexed REC Contracts. The Annual Quantity in a contract will reflect the portion of the RFP Awarded Annual Quantity allocated to such contract. Following bid submission, the RFP Awarded Annual Quantity may not be amended.

There are several flexibilities related to delivery under the Indexed REC Contract; however, including, but not limited to:

  • The annual quantity in the Indexed REC Contract related to a utility-scale solar project or a brownfield site photovoltaic project is subject to a degradation factor. With respect to utility-scale solar projects and brownfield site photovoltaic projects, the Delivery Year Requirement for each Delivery Year will feature a degradation factor of 0.5% annually. The Delivery Year Requirement calculation is set forth in Section 1.30 of the Indexed REC Contract. More information on the Delivery Year Requirement calculation is provided in FAQ-Indexed REC-32.
  • Seller must deliver a quantity of RECs that meets the Delivery Year Requirement in each deliver year, the failure to meet any Delivery Year Requirement through the first full Delivery Year (i.e., first full June through May period as well as any prior stub period) shall not constitute a Shortfall Amount.
  • As described in Section 9.2 it is an event of default under the Indexed REC 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 Indexed REC Contract) cumulatively equals or exceeds the annual quantity.
  • Any RECs generated by the Project in excess of the Delivery Year Requirement for any Delivery Year (“Excess RECs”) shall remain the exclusive property of Seller, to be utilized in Seller’s sole discretion. Such excess RECs may be transferred for the sole purpose of reducing Shortfall Amounts incurred in one or more prior Delivery Years subject to conditions under Section 4.1(k). Such RECs are not eligible for payment either by Buyer to Seller or by Seller to Buyer; for avoidance of doubt, such RECs are valued at $0 under the Indexed REC Contract.
  • There is no prohibition to Project size changes during the term of the Indexed REC Contract.
  • Additionally, please note that under the Indexed REC Contract, the Seller will specify a Project Committed Percentage. The Project Committed Percentage means the percentage of the Project’s Actual Production to be used for purposes of the Standing Order. The Seller will provide the Project Committed Percentage prior to the establishment of the standing order and after that point this input cannot be modified. Please review Section 2.3(b) of the Indexed REC Contract for information regarding the Project Committed Percentage and the Standing Order.
12-07-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-55
Q: Should the MES Mid-Year Confirmation required by Section 6.4 of the Indexed REC Contract be provided by email to the IPA or by submission of the Minimum Equity Standard (MES) Mid-Year Report for Indexed REC Projects virtual form?

MES Mid-Year Confirmations should be submitted using the virtual form available on the IPA’s website. Instructions for completing and submitting the report to the IPA for review are provided on the virtual form.

11-29-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-54
Q: If my project was a wining project in the Summer 2023 or Fall 2022 Indexed REC RFP do I need to submit a Mid-Year Confirmation to the IPA?

As described in Section 6.4 of the Indexed REC Contract, no later than December 1, 2023, the Seller is required to provide an MES Mid-Year Confirmation to the IPA.  An MES Mid-Year Confirmation should be submitted by all Sellers with a contract for Indexed RECs to demonstrate progress toward meeting the MES for the Program Year. This requirement applies to all Projects awarded Indexed REC Contracts in the Fall 2022 and Summer 2023 Indexed REC Procurements for which the Minimum Equity Standard applies. If Construction Activities for the Project have not yet begun Seller is still required to submit the MES Mid-Year Confirmation to the IPA and indicate that Construction Activities have not yet commenced within the virtual form.

To submit the MES Mid-Year Confirmation to the IPA, please complete the virtual form available on the IPA’s website. Instructions for completing and submitting the report to the IPA for review are provided on the virtual form. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page on the IPA’s website provides helpful resources and tips: https://ipa.illinois.gov/diversity-equity-and-inclusion.html as well as the Procurement RFP FAQs: https://www.ipa-energyrfp.com/faqs/.

11-29-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-53
Q: Can you provide the exact amount of the Supplier Fee?

Projects with winning Bids approved by the Commission will be assessed a one-time Supplier Fee per REC. The exact amount of the Supplier Fee per REC will be announced no later than two (2) business days before the Bid Date. An estimate $0.60 per REC of the Annual Quantity of RECs was provided on slide 17 in the Bidder Information Webcast held on October 3, 2023 and posted to the Final Materials page. Payment of the Supplier Fees to the IPA by the Bidder or Seller will be due within seven (7) business days after Commission approval of the Bids.

11-16-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-52
Q: When will the next Indexed REC RFP be held and what are the expected REC quantities to be procured?

The 2022 Long-Term Plan covers the IPA’s renewable energy resources procurement activities for 2022 and 2023. The IPA filed its 2024 Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (“2024 Long-Term Plan”) with the Illinois Commerce Commission (“ICC”) on October 20, 2023 related to procurement activities, including future Indexed REC RFPs, for 2024 and 2025. The 2024 Long-Term Plan remains subject to approval by the ICC.

Please see Section 5.6 of the 2024 Long-Term Plan, Table 5-6 in particular, for the proposed schedule for competitive procurements. If approved, the next Indexed REC RFP for new utility-scale wind, new utility-scale solar, and new brownfield site photovoltaic projects is expected to be held in Summer 2024. The proposed targets for the Summer 2024 Indexed REC RFP are 1,116,666 RECs annually from new utility-scale wind projects and hydropower projects, 666,666 RECs annually from new utility-scale solar projects, and 43,333 RECs annually from new brownfield site photovoltaic projects. Targets may be adjusted upward for any unfilled quantities from the Fall 2023 Indexed REC RFP.

11-15-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-51
Q: How does the Collateral Threshold in Table A of Section 7.1 impact the Performance Assurance Amount for a utility-scale solar project under the Indexed REC Contract?

If you bid and win in the RFP, the RECs from your winning Project will be allocated by the Procurement Administrator to the Companies in pre-specified proportions (27.793% to AIC, 71.925% to ComEd, and 0.282% to MEC). As such, it is contemplated that you will sign three contracts, one with each of AIC, ComEd and MEC.

Each Indexed REC Contract is administered separately and independently by each of Companies (each is the Buyer under each such Indexed REC Contract). As such, the Collateral Threshold amount determined in accordance with Table A in Section 7.1 of the Indexed REC Contract, and the Performance Assurance Amount, applies to each of AIC, ComEd, and MEC independently. However, if the Seller or Seller’s Guarantor is a party to one or more additional REC purchase agreements with a Buyer, then the Seller or Seller’s Guarantor will be granted a single Collateral Threshold to be applied in aggregate to all such REC purchase agreements entered into with such Buyer.

The amount of a Seller’s Performance Assurance is equal to the positive difference, if any, between: (a) the Collateral Requirement (or Increased Collateral Requirement, if applicable); and (b) the Collateral Threshold, rounded up to the nearest $10,000, as estimated by Buyer (“Performance Assurance Amount”). If the Seller is relying on a Guarantor and Seller’s Guarantor has provided a Guaranty, the Collateral Threshold shall be the lesser of the Collateral Threshold as determined by (i) the table in Section 7.1 or (ii) the amount of such Guaranty.

For example, if the Annual Quantity allocated to the Indexed REC Contract for with ComEd is 300,000 RECs, and the Seller’s Guarantor is investment grade and has provided a Guaranty in an amount equal to the Collateral Threshold of $2,500,000, then the required Performance Assurance Amount to be posted with ComEd is $500,000 ($10 x 300,000 -$2,500,000). A similar calculation would be performed to calculate the required Performance Assurance Amount to be posted separately with each of AIC and MEC. This example assumes that the Seller is party to only one REC purchase agreement with each utility and the Seller is not posting the Increased Collateral Requirement.

11-15-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-50
Q: What are the consequences under the Indexed REC Contract for failure to meet the percentage requirement of the Minimum Equity Standard?

A Minimum Equity Standard of 10% will apply under the Indexed REC Contract to a Project selected through this RFP if the Date of First Operation is on or after December 15, 2022.

The remedies related to a failure to meet the percentage requirement of the Minimum Equity Standard (i.e., 10%) is described in Section 10.1.4 of the IPA’s 2022 long-term renewable resources procurement plan (the “Long-Term Plan”) as approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission in ICC Docket No. 22-0231, which is pasted below for your convenience. Further, please also note that Section 1-75(c-30) of the IPA Act provides the following: “……If the Agency concludes the entity has not met or maintained its minimum equity standards required under the applicable subparagraphs under subsection (c-10), the Agency shall deny the entity’s ability to participate in procurement programs in subsection (c), including by withholding approved vendor or designee status.”

As set forth in Section 6.4(d) of the Indexed REC Contract, “no other remedies are contemplated under the Indexed REC Contract for Seller’s failure to comply with the Minimum Equity Standard requirements”. As such, failure to meet the percentage requirement of the Minimum Equity Standard is not an event of default leading to contract termination or forfeiture of the performance assurance under the Indexed REC Contract.

As noted above, and for your convenience, Section 10.1.4 of the 2022 Long-Term Plan provides that:

“if the Agency determines that a Competitive Procurement Supplier has failed to comply with any of the requirements set forth by the Agency, or any contract provision set forth by the law, the Agency will notify that entity in writing within twenty-one days. At such time, the Agency may request within twenty-one days after the notice of noncompliance any additional reports, information and documentation that are reasonably necessary to determine program compliance. If the requested materials are not received within twenty-one days, the Agency will render a finding of noncompliance, and the appropriate violation status outlined below will apply.

Requests for an extension for more time to provide such additional information must be made prior to the twenty-one day deadline and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The Agency will impose consequences for violations by program participants, including but not limited to:

  1. Suspension of the entity’s ability to submit project applications to IPA programs or to participate in competitive procurements during the remainder of the delivery year.
  2. Repeated violations could potentially result in the Approved Vendor or Designee becoming suspended from the IPA’s programs for an entire delivery year. Competitive Procurement Suppliers could likewise be barred from participation in future competitive procurement events.”

Please see Section 6.4 of the Indexed REC Contract as well as the FAQs page for additional information on the MES including requirements, compliance plans, and waiver requests.

11-14-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-49
Q: If we add battery storage to our Project, how would this be included in the Bid?

First, the Procurement Administrator cannot advise bidders on their bid submissions. The Strike Price that you indicate in your Bid will be used to calculate the payments under the Indexed REC Contract and there is no separate payment adjustment related to additional battery storage under the Indexed REC Contract.

Second, with respect to a Project co-located with an energy storage facility, the RECs Delivered shall be associated with energy generated exclusively from the Project as measured by the Project’s Revenue Quality Meter and not from any other electric source. Similarly, the MWh hourly generation that must be provided under Section 6.1 of the Indexed REC Contract for which the REC Monthly Price Hourly Component is calculated must be from the Project as measured by the Project’s Revenue Quality Meter and not from any other electric source. As such, increasing the Actual Production and REC quantity (as these terms are defined in the Indexed REC Contract) by using a battery is prohibited.

11-08-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-48
Q: Does the Minimum Equity Standards apply to Projects located in adjacent states? Can you please provide clarification on how adjacent state Projects can meet these requirements?

A Minimum Equity Standard of 10% will apply under the Indexed REC Contract to a Project selected through this RFP if the Date of First Operation is on or after December 15, 2022, regardless of whether the project is located in Illinois or an Adjacent State.

An “Equity Eligible Persons” means persons who would most benefit from equitable investments by the State designed to combat discrimination, specifically: (a) persons who graduate from or are current or former participants in the Clean Jobs Workforce Network Program, the Clean Energy Contractor Incubator Program, the Illinois Climate Works Pre-apprenticeship Program, Returning Residents Clean Jobs Training Program, or the Clean Energy Primes Contractor Accelerator Program, and the solar training pipeline and multi-cultural jobs program created in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(3) of Section 16-108.12 of the Public Utilities Act; (b) persons who are graduates of or currently enrolled in the foster care system; (c) persons who were formerly incarcerated; (d) persons whose primary residence is in an Equity Investment Eligible Community as defined in Section 1-10 of the IPA Act.

As defined in the Indexed REC Contract, “Project Workforce” means employees, contractors and their employees, and subcontractors and their employees whose job duties are directly required by or substantially related to the development, construction, and operation of the Project that is participating in the IPA-administered programs and procurements under Section 1-75(c) of the IPA Act. This shall include both project installation workforce and workforce in administrative, sales, marketing, and technical roles where those workers’ duties are directly related to the Project subject to the following. Persons working in administrative, sales, marketing and technical roles, shall be included in the project workforce only if their duties are related to the Project and performed in Illinois. The project installation workforce shall be included in the “Project Workforce” and must meet the MES regardless of location.

Please note, CEJA provides that the Agency may utilize its discretion in rare circumstances to grant a waiver of the MES (20 ILCS 3855/1-75(c-10)(4)(E)).  In describing the criteria for granting such a waiver, the statute provides that the Agency may do so “where the applicant provides evidence of significant efforts toward meeting the minimum equity commitment, including: use of the Energy Workforce Equity Database; efforts to hire or contract with entities that hire eligible persons; and efforts to establish contracting relationships with eligible contractors.” (20 ILCS 3855/1-75(c-10)(4)(E) (emphasis added)). The IPA posted waiver request forms to the Minimum Equity Standard webpage here:  https://ipa.illinois.gov/diversity-equity-and-inclusion/minimum-equity-standard.html. As described in the waiver request form, requestors must receive at least 20 points to qualify for a waiver.

10-31-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-47
Q: Can we submit a single MES Compliance Plan for all Projects if we have multiple projects selected and approved under an Indexed REC RFP?

The Seller must submit the reports required by Section 6.4 Minimum Equity Standard of the Indexed REC Contract to the IPA using the IPA’s online MES Compliance Plan Form. A separate report must be filed for each Project.

10-31-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-46
Q: What reports are required to comply with MES?

Under Section 6.4 of the Indexed REC Contract, to demonstrate compliance with the MES the following reports must be submitted to the IPA , if applicable pursuant to Section 6.4(a) of the Indexed REC Contract;

  1. MES Compliance Plan. The first MES Compliance Plan shall be submitted to the IPA within thirty (30) days of the Commission Bid Approval Date regardless of whether Construction Activities have been performed or will be performed in that delivery year. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Date of First Operation of the Project as recorded by PJM-EIS GATS or M-RETS occurred prior to the date that is thirty (30) days of the Commission Bid Approval Date, then the MES Compliance Plan shall not be required. Subsequently, at the beginning of each delivery year, and no later than July 15 of such delivery year, Seller shall submit to the IPA an MES Compliance Plan demonstrating how Seller will achieve compliance with the Minimum Equity Standard in such delivery year. The MES Compliance Plan shall include: (a) a narrative description of how Seller will meet the Minimum Equity Standard and a statement of intent to comply with equity accountability standards for the applicable delivery year and to hire a diverse project workforce including Equity Eligible Persons and Equity Eligible Contractors; (b) projected number of workers and the demographic breakdown by race, gender, and participation in job training or workforce development programs, or other means of compliance with the standard for Equity Eligible Persons; (c) plans for the use of Equity Eligible Contractors, if  applicable; (d) Seller classification (i.e., Minority-owned, Woman-owned, Disabled-owned, Veteran-owned, Small Business, etc.), if applicable; (e) communication plan for local outreach to increase the utilization of Equity Eligible Persons and Equity Eligible Contractors; and (f) status of any corrective actions or adjustments from the prior delivery year’s MES Compliance Plan.
  2. Mid-Year MES Confirmation. No later than December 1 of each delivery year, Seller shall provide to the IPA a statement confirming that Seller is on track to meet the Minimum Equity Standard and that there exist no impediments for Seller to meet the Minimum Equity Standard for such delivery year. If Seller is unable to provide such confirmation, Seller shall explain why it is unable to meet the Minimum Equity Standard for such delivery year. The Mid-Year MES Confirmation shall be submitted to IPA via email at the email address provided in Exhibit B. If the Date of First Operation of the Project as recorded by PJM-EIS GATS or M-RETS occurred prior to the date that is thirty (30) days of the Commission Bid Approval Date, then the Mid-Year MES Confirmation shall not be required.
  3. MES Report. After the conclusion of a delivery year for which Construction Activities have been performed, and no later than July 15 immediately succeeding such delivery year, Seller shall submit to the IPA an MES Report. The first MES Report shall be submitted to the IPA no later than July 15, 2024, or if the Date of First Operation of the Project as recorded by PJM-EIS GATS or MRETS occurred prior to the date that is thirty (30) days of the Commission Bid Approval Date, then the MES Report shall be submitted as soon as practicable on or around the date that is thirty (30) days of the Commission Bid Approval Date, and in no event later than July 15, 2024. The MES Report shall include data on actual performance compared to the information previously submitted as well as any major differences from the previously submitted MES Compliance Plan for such delivery year. These differences could include information such as new and innovative ways to provide employment opportunities to low-income participants and residents within the environmental justice communities.
10-31-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-45
Q: What are the additional avenues for fulfilling the MES?

The IPA encourages applicants to utilize all possible means for identifying, recruiting, and hiring EEPs, especially those that qualify by virtue of their status as formerly incarcerated, a graduate of the foster care system, or a resident of an equity investment eligible community. The Long-Term Plan outlined several strategies that may be useful:

  • Working with State-approved job training and workforce development programs to recruit a diverse workforce and provide evidence of outreach
  • Maintaining applications of individuals not selected for an opening for contact regarding future project openings
  • Participating in job fairs and related local community events to recruit a diverse workforce
  • Advertising on various platforms of targeted social and direct outreach to appropriately-targeted associations or other relevant organizations to notify them of the project opportunity. (2022 Long-Term Plan at page 333).

The IPA cannot provide advice to bidders regarding the specifics of a recruitment strategy or point an entity toward specific organizations or events where it might recruit EEPs.

10-31-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-44
Q: What is the status of FEJA- and CEJA-funded workforce training programs?

The Department of Commerce and Economic Development (“DCEO”) has awarded funding for FEJA-funded workforce training programs, the management of which passed to DCEO under CEJA. CEJA also created several new workforce training programs to be managed by DCEO.

Please monitor the DCEO CEJA website for updates from the Department on its job training programs.

10-31-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-43
Q: What is the Energy Workforce Equity Portal? What role does it play in a Seller’s Compliance Plan and outreach efforts?

CEJA directs the IPA to develop an Energy Workforce Database in consultation with the Department of Commerce and Economic Development that consists of a searchable database of vendors, suppliers, and contractors that are minority and women-owned business enterprise certified or are certified as EECs. The IPA’s Energy Workforce Equity Portal is designed to help connect clean energy companies with Equity Eligible Persons looking to work in the clean energy sector in Illinois. Developers of clean energy projects, such as developers of utility-scale wind, utility-scale solar, and brownfield site solar projects, can use this portal to advertise clean energy jobs and to search for Equity Eligible Persons seeking employment, as Equity Eligible Persons register on the portal. Developers can also use the portal to apply to qualify as an Equity Eligible Contractor. Please visit the IPA Energy Workforce Equity Portal here.

Phase I of the portal was launched on January 31, 2023 and includes:

  • Information on qualifications and requirements for job seekers to become Equity Eligible Persons.
  • A form for applying to be certified as Equity Eligible Person.
  • A listing of Equity Eligible Persons who have volunteered to identify themselves to potential clean energy companies.
  • Information on job postings from clean energy companies for which they are recruiting Equity Eligible Persons.
  • Information on workforce training programs administered by DCEO.
  • Equity Investment Eligible (EIE) Community Map that can be utilized by anyone to determine if they or someone else reside in an identified equity investment eligible community.
  • Information on Equity Eligible Contractors participating in the IPA’s Adjustable Block Program.
  • FAQs outlining commonly asked questions and answers on the portal.
  • A user guide to help clean energy companies and Equity Eligible Persons navigate the portal easily.

Phae II will be launched later in 2023 and will include additional information on workforce and job training programs, and resources and reports related to diversity and equity in the clean energy in Illinois.

The IPA hosted a training for participants to get acquainted with the portal and its various functionalities. This includes advertising jobs and searching for Equity Eligible Persons seeking employment, as they register on the portal. The training is available here.

The Energy Workforce Equity Database should serve as a tool for applicants to find EEPs, but may not include the entire universe of available EEPs seeking clean energy work, since it will only list EEPs that voluntarily add their information to the database.  The Database is still in development and applicants should not assume they will be able to rely solely on the Database to find EEPs to meet the Minimum Equity Standard.

CEJA provides that the Agency may utilize its discretion in rare circumstances to grant a waiver of the MES (20 ILCS 3855/1-75(c-10)(4)(E)).  In describing the criteria for granting such a waiver, the statute provides that the Agency may do so “where the applicant provides evidence of significant efforts toward meeting the minimum equity commitment, including: use of the Energy Workforce Equity Database; efforts to hire or contract with entities that hire eligible persons; and efforts to establish contracting relationships with eligible contractors.” (20 ILCS 3855/1-75(c-10)(4)(E) (emphasis added)). The IPA posted waiver request forms to the Minimum Equity Standard webpage here: https://ipa.illinois.gov/diversity-equity-and-inclusion/minimum-equity-standard.html. As described in the waiver request form, requestors must receive at least 20 points to qualify for a waiver.

10-31-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-42
Q: What is required at the time of bid for Bidders that do not wish to commit to an Equity Level (%) greater than the Minimum Equity Standard of 10%?

As provided in paragraph IV.3.1. of the Final Rules for the Indexed REC Procurement Event:

  • An officer of the Seller must acknowledge that if the Date of First Operation for a Project is on or after December 15, 2022, a Minimum Equity Standard of 10% applies to the project workforce for each delivery year in which construction activities are performed through the date of first operation of the project; and that there are reporting requirements described in Section 6.4 of the Indexed REC Contract.

No additional documentation or information is required at the time of bid.

10-31-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-41
Q: Is a Compliance Plan required at the time of bid?

No. As provided in the Indexed REC RFP Rules, only if a Bidder optionally elects to commit to an Equity Level (%) greater than the Minimum Equity Standard of 10% is a plan required at the time of bid. In this case one of the requirements includes:

[The] Bidder must provide a narrative plan to meet the Equity Level (%) provided in the Part 1 Proposal. The narrative plan must include the following items:

  • a narrative description of how the Seller will ensure that at least the Equity Level (%) will be met;
  • a statement of intent to comply with all necessary requirements set forth in Public Act 102-0662 relating to the Minimum Equity Standard and agreement to comply with certain obligations, including hiring a diverse project workforce and working with Equity Eligible Contractors, where applicable;
  • the total projected number of workers related to Construction Activities up to the point of the Date of First Operation;
  • plans for the use of Equity Eligible Contractors, if applicable;
  • Seller classification (i.e., Minority-owned business enterprise, Woman-owned business enterprise, Disabled-owned business, Veteran-owned business, Small business, etc.), if applicable;
  • the qualifying Equity Eligible Person category/categories the Seller seeks to hire, if known; and
  • a communication plan for local outreach to increase the utilization of Equity Eligible Persons and Equity Eligible Contractors.

Many of these elements may be repeated in the eventual Compliance Plan submitted after a contract has been awarded to a selected bid. Given that the strike price for a project that submits an Equity Level (%) greater than the Minimum Equity Standard of 10% will be reduced for purposes of bid ranking, additional assurances should be provided that the Bidder will meet this commitment.

10-31-2023

CEJA requires that applicants comply with the MES through a Compliance Plan submitted at the start of the delivery year. Section 1-75(c-10)(1)(A) directs that:

At the start of each delivery year, the Agency shall require a compliance plan from each entity participating in a procurement program of subsection (c) of this Section [1-75] that demonstrates how they will achieve compliance with the minimum equity standard percentage for work completed in that delivery year. (20 ILCS 3855/1-75(c-10)(1)(A)).

Competitive procurements are required by Section 1-75, and therefore applicants to those procurements must submit a Compliance Plan under the law.

The Compliance Plan is meant to ensure that applicants are making a concerted effort to hire EEPs and contribute to the equity goals of CEJA. The law requires participants to complete a Compliance Plan, which contains the elements outlined above, and directs the Agency to ensure that competitive procurements advance the equity goals of CEJA. As laid out by the statute, CEJA envisions the EAS as a method to create “priority access to the clean energy economy for businesses and workers from communities that have been excluded from economic opportunities in the energy sector, have been subject to disproportionate levels of pollution, and have disproportionately experienced negative public health outcomes.” (20 ILCS 3855/1-75(c)(10)). Accounting for generations of such exclusion and disproportionate harms requires buy-in from all stakeholders and coordination between the public sector and private sector actors. The IPA hopes that all participants in competitive procurements take this policy seriously and contribute sincere efforts to creating a more equitable clean energy economy in Illinois.

The Illinois Power Agency has developed and released a virtual form for the submission of Compliance Plans by utility-scale renewable developers. The MES Compliance Plan Form is located on the IPA’s Minimum Equity Standard page and is linked here.

10-31-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-39
Q: Who makes up the “project workforce” for the purpose of the MES?

The 2022 Long-Term Plan, as approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission, adopts the following definition of “project workforce”:

Employees, contractors and their employees, and subcontractors and their employees, whose job duties are directly required by or substantially related to the development, construction, and operation of a project that is participating in or intended to participate in the IPA-administered programs and procurements under Section 1-75(c) of the IPA Act. This shall include both project installation workforce and workforce in administrative, sales, marketing, and technical roles where those workers’ duties are performed in Illinois. (2022 Long-Term Plan at 328).

The MES applies to the project workforce, so if the MES is 10%, EEPs must make up 10% of the project workforce. Therefore, compliance with the MES is based on number of workers or employees, not the work hours performed by those employees.

10-31-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-38
Q: Who qualifies as an Equity Eligible Person?

The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (“CEJA”) defines an equity eligible person as:

(1) persons who graduate from or are current or former participants in the Clean Jobs Workforce Network Program, the Clean Energy Contractor Incubator Program, the Illinois Climate Works Pre-apprenticeship Program, the Returning Residents Clean Jobs Training Program, or the Clean Energy Primes Contractor Accelerator Program, and the solar training pipeline and multi-cultural jobs program created in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(3) of Section 16-108.21 of the Public Utilities Act;

(2) persons who are graduates of or currently enrolled in the foster care system;

(3) persons who were formerly incarcerated; [or]

(4) persons whose primary residence is in an equity investment eligible community. (20 ILCS 3855/1-10).

A person may fall into multiple categories or only one; a person does not need to have participated in a CEJA- or FEJA-funded training program in order to be an EEP if they qualify under one of the other categories.

An “equity investment eligible community” is defined by CEJA as:

(1) R3 Areas as established pursuant to Section 10-40 of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, where residents have historically been excluded from economic opportunities, including opportunities in the energy sector; and

(2) Environmental justice communities, as defined by the Illinois Power Agency pursuant to the Illinois Power Agency Act, where residents have historically been subject to disproportionate burdens of pollution, including pollution from the energy sector. (20 ILCS 3855/1-10).

A map of R3 Areas can be found here, a map of environmental justice communities can be found here, and the Equity Investment Eligible Community Map that combines EJ and R3 areas can be found here.

10-31-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-37
Q: What is the Minimum Equity Standard? How does it relate to the Equity Accountability System?

The Minimum Equity Standard is a minimum percentage of an applicant’s project workforce that must be comprised of Equity Eligible Persons. Please see additional FAQs below for definitions of “project workforce” and “Equity Eligible Person.”

The Equity Accountability System is the umbrella suite of policy levers and standards included in the Illinois Power Agency Act that advance “priority access to the clean energy economy for businesses and workers from communities that have been excluded from economic opportunities in the energy sector, have been subject to disproportionate levels of pollution, and have disproportionately experienced negative public health outcomes” (20 ILCS 3855/1-75(c-10)). The Equity Accountability System includes the Minimum Equity Standard (“MES”), the reserved category in the Adjustable Block Program for Equity Eligible Contractors (“EECs”), and the requirements developed by the Agency to ensure “that competitive procurement processes, including utility-scale solar, utility-scale wind, and brownfield site photovoltaic projects, advance the equity goals” of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (20 ILCS 3855/1-75(c-10(3))).

The IPA, through its 2022 Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (“Long-Term Plan” or “Plan”), developed requirements for utility-scale projects bid into competitive procurements for indexed REC contracts that require those projects to meet the Minimum Equity Standard and provide additional prioritization for projects that employ a higher percentage of Equity Eligible Persons (“EEPs”) than that required by the MES. Thus, the MES (and the associated Compliance Plan) and the equity prioritization mechanism constitute the pieces of the Equity Accountability System applicable to bidders in competitive procurements, and those steps constitute full compliance with the Equity Accountability System.

The IPA created a Minimum Equity Standard (MES) webpage to provide the most up to date MES related documents, educational resources, and training materials related to MES Compliance Plans and waiver requests. Please visit the IPA Minimum Equity Standard webpage here: https://ipa.illinois.gov/diversity-equity-and-inclusion/minimum-equity-standard.html

In particular, the IPA posted an MES Compliance and Waiver Request Training Presentation applicable to utility-scale solar and wind projects under the header “MES Educational Resources”.

10-31-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-36
Q: For purposes of satisfying the Project Labor Agreement requirements in the IPA Act and Section 6.3 of the Indexed REC Contract, is there a requirement that all labor involved on the project be union?

‘Please refer to the Project Labor Agreement Act (30 ILCS 571/25) (“PLA Act”) and the Indexed REC Contract for the requirements. It is the responsibility of Seller to understand and comply with the PLA Act requirements of the Indexed REC Contract, even where a contractor or subcontractor will be the party ultimately performing the complying action. The Project Labor Agreement must meet the requirements of the PLA Act, which include, but is not limited to, Section 25(e) of the PLA Act, which states: “…any project labor agreement shall: … … (e) Permit the selection of the lowest qualified responsible bidder, without regard to union or non-union status at other construction sites.”.

As required by Section 1-75(c)(1)(Q)(2) of the IPA Act, the Project must be built by General Contractors that have entered into a Project Labor Agreement prior to construction. That Project Labor Agreement shall be filed with the Director of the IPA, who shall determine whether the Project Labor Agreement meets the requirements of the IPA Act and the Project Labor Agreements Act. Those requirements are outlined below. Any determination made by the IPA will be provided after such executed Project Labor Agreement is submitted per the timeline set forth in Section 6.3 of the Indexed REC contract.
As noted in the IPA’s 2022 Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan, “as a project labor agreement is a private agreement between a project developer and a labor organization entered into with both parties’ acquiescence, and as the IPA Act does not direct the Agency to develop qualitative project labor agreement standards, the Agency does not believe that it can or should generally develop minimum project labor agreement terms for that agreement to satisfy Section 1-75(c)(1)(Q)(2)’s requirements. However, a labor organization and the general contractor building the project shall have the authority to include other terms and conditions as they deem necessary.”

Under Section 1-75(c)(1)(Q)(2) of the IPA Act, the project labor agreement must provide “the names, addresses, and occupations of the owner of the [Project] and the individuals representing the labor organization employees participating in the project labor agreement consistent with the Project Labor Agreements Act.” Section 1-10 of the IPA Act outlines specific additional elements required in a Project Labor Agreement under the Act, including:

  • “provisions establishing the minimum hourly wage for each class of labor organization employee;
  • provisions establishing the benefits and other compensation for each class of labor organization employee;
  • provisions establishing that no strike or disputes will be engaged in by the labor organization employees;
  • provisions establishing that no lockout or disputes will be engaged in by the general contractor building the project; and
  • provisions for minorities and women, as defined under the Business Enterprise for Minorities, Women, and Persons with Disabilities Act, setting forth goals for apprenticeship hours to be performed by minorities and women and setting forth goals for total hours to be performed by underrepresented minorities and women.”

Additionally, as proposed by the IPA in Docket No. 22-0231 and affirmed by the Commission in approving the Plan, “project labor agreement submittals must also include a description of the efforts the entity will take or has taken to achieve such goals, including recruitment of minorities and women into apprenticeship roles.” Thus, simply including goals for hours worked by minorities and women is not sufficient; those goals must also be supported by planned efforts to meet such goals.

Please review Section 1.80 and Section 6.3 of the Indexed REC Contract for more information about the reporting requirements related to the Project Labor Agreement.

10-30-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-35
Q: How does a Project located in a state adjacent to Illinois become pre-approved by the IPA to be eligible for Illinois RPS compliance?

A Project located in a state adjacent to Illinois must complete and submit an eligibility request spreadsheet to the Illinois Power Agency (“IPA”) and the IPA will determine whether the Project meets the public interest criteria in the Act and has been pre-approved to be eligible for Illinois RPS compliance. The evaluation spreadsheet is available on the IPA’s website, under the header “Adjacent State Facility Eligibility”. Once the required fields in yellow have been inputted, the spreadsheet generates a preliminary score subject to review by the IPA. The minimum score needed to qualify is 60.

10-30-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-34
Q: If a Seller is successful in this Indexed REC RFP, but ultimately due to significant inflation and interest rate increases prior to construction, the Project is no longer economic at the strike price, are there any remedies available to the Seller who is committed to developing the project? Can the Seller submit a new bid in a subsequent Indexed REC RFP for the Project and if so, what would be the process?

Section 4.1(d) of the Indexed REC Contract outlines the termination of the contract if the Seller determines that it will not be able to construct the Project in a timely manner prior to the REC Delivery deadline. In such a case Seller shall provide a written notice of that determination to Buyer. Buyer shall be entitled to payment by Seller in the amount of the Collateral Requirement or Increased Collateral Requirement, as applicable. Buyer shall terminate this Agreement within twenty (20) Business Days of the later of: (i) Buyer’s receipt of written notice from Seller; or (ii) Buyer’s receipt of payment in the amount of the Collateral Requirement or Increased Collateral Requirement, as applicable.

In this situation, there is no prohibition for the bidder to submit a bid for the same Project in a subsequent Indexed REC RFP provided that the contract is fully terminated prior to the submission of the Part 1 Proposal for the Project.

10-30-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-33
Q: Will the Companies and the IPA sign a confidentiality agreement?

Please see Section VI.3 of the RFP rules for additional information regarding Confidentiality.

Any information provided by a Bidder or Seller in its Part 1 Proposal and Part 2 Proposal is provided on a confidential basis to the Procurement Administrator and may be provided on a confidential basis to the Procurement Monitor, to the IPA, or to ICC Staff.

The Procurement Administrator, the Procurement Monitor, representatives from the IPA, ICC Staff, and representatives of each Company as applicable who are involved in the evaluation of Proposals will consider all data and information provided by Bidders and Sellers in response to this RFP to be confidential and will attempt to limit its disclosure to the public in accordance with the provisions of Section VI.3 of the RFP Rules. Each Company will also take reasonable action to ensure that its employees, representatives and agents authorized to consider and evaluate all Proposals protect the confidentiality of such data and information. Each representative of the Procurement Administrator, Procurement Monitor, and the Companies that has access to any portion of the Proposals is required to sign a Confidentiality Statement in the form of Appendix 12 to these RFP Rules prior to evaluation of any portion of the Proposals. The list of all signatories is available to a Bidder or Seller upon request. A limited number of representatives from each Company will receive information on Bids identified by the Procurement Administrator as winning Bids for purposes of preparing the applicable supplier contracts. Another confidentiality agreement will be executed for this purpose.

10-27-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-32
Q: Does the Indexed REC Contract account for degradation in the calculation of the Delivery Year Requirement with respect to utility scale solar projects and brownfield site photovoltaic projects?

Under the Indexed REC Contract for the Fall 2023 Indexed REC RFP, the Delivery Year Requirements are greater than the Annual Quantity in the early Delivery Years, as the Indexed REC Contract accounts for degradation of the Project in the calculation of the Delivery Year Requirement. With respect to utility-scale solar projects and brownfield site photovoltaic projects, the Delivery Year Requirement for each Delivery Year will feature a degradation factor of 0.5% annually. The Delivery Year Requirement calculation is set forth in Section 1.30 of the Indexed REC Contract. The degradation adjustment described in the foregoing is only applicable to utility scale solar and brownfield site photovoltaic projects, not utility scale wind projects.

A 20-year schedule indicating the Delivery Year Requirement for each Delivery Year will be provided in the Product Order of the Indexed REC Contract for each winning project. Please note that while the Seller must deliver a quantity of RECs that meets the Delivery Year Requirement in each deliver year,  the failure to meet any Delivery Year Requirement through the first full Delivery Year (i.e., first full June through May period as well as any prior stub period) shall not constitute a Shortfall Amount. As described in Section 9.2 it is an event of default under the Indexed REC 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 Indexed REC Contract) cumulatively equals or exceeds the annual quantity.

10-23-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-31
Q: Can we provide draft versions of the Pre-Bid Letter of Credit for a Company for review prior to our bank issuing the final executed version?

Neither the Procurement Administrator nor the Companies review draft versions of Pre-Bid Letters of Credit. However, upon request the Procurement Administrator can confirm the amount of bid assurance collateral required to be posted with each company given the Project size.

If the submitted Pre-Bid Letter of Credit for any of the Companies, in its current format, is not acceptable to the Company, the Procurement Administrator will provide a deficiency notice requesting an amendment to your Pre-Bid Letter of Credit and will provide a deadline for receipt of such amendment. Information regarding processing of Part 2 Proposal materials is also posted to the Final Materials page of the Indexed Wind, Solar, and Brownfield section of the procurement website: https://www.ipa-energyrfp.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Indexed-REC-RFP_Part-2-Proposal-Processing_29-SEP-2023.pdf

10-23-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-30
Q: Can a Bidder change the size of their Project during the Part 2 Window after submitting the Part 1 Proposal?

No, as stated in Section IV.2.2 of the RFP Rules, once the Part 1 Proposal is complete, the size of the Project cannot be changed for purposes of the Part 2 Proposal. For avoidance of doubt, the restriction to size changes is limited from the time the Part 1 Proposal is complete through the fourteen (14) business days after the anticipated date of the Commission decision on the procurement event; and there is no prohibition to Project size changes during the term of the Indexed REC Contract.

While there is no prohibition under the Indexed REC Contract for size changes, we note the following: (i) if the Project is a utility-scale project, the Project size must be greater than 5 MW (AC rating), (ii) if the Project is a utility-scale project, at least 50% of the Project must be located within the physical location identified in the Site Description in the Product Order, (iii) if the Project is a utility-scale project and the Project is proposed to be located in an Energy Transition Community Grant Area (“ETCGA”) under the RFP, the Project must be entirely located within the ETCGA proposed in the RFP as identified in the Site Description in the Product Order; (iv) if the Project is a Brownfield Site Photovoltaic Project, the Project must be entirely located within the physical location identified in the description of the Project Site in the Product Order, (v) the Annual Quantity in each Indexed REC Contract is a binding obligation, and is used to measure performance under the Contract, and an Event of Default shall be deemed to occur if three (3) or more Shortfall Years occurred, and the cumulative sum of the Shortfall Amounts across all Shortfall Years equals or exceeds in Annual Quantity under the Indexed REC Contract, and (vi) the Project Committed Percentage shall be confirmed by Seller when Seller initiates the Standing Order request within PJM EIS GATS or M-RETS pursuant to section 2.3(b)(i) of the Indexed REC Contract, and such Project Committed Percentage may not be amended subsequent to the initial establishment of the Standing Order.

10-23-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-29
Q: Can a Bidder confirm the correct amount of bid assurance collateral required to post to each company for a Project to be able to submit Bids on its Projects(s) with the Procurement Administrator?

Yes, the Bidder may request to confirm the amount of Bid Assurance Collateral required to be posted with each Company by email to the Procurement Administrator.

10-23-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-28
Q: If a Bidder posts bid assurance collateral for a project, but ultimately does not submit a bid for the project, is the full amount of the bid assurance collateral returned?

If a Bidder posts bid assurance collateral and does not submit a Bid, the full amount of the bid assurance collateral will be returned within the timeframes provided in the Indexed REC RFP. All bid assurance collateral remains in place until the Commission has rendered a decision on the results of the procurement event. The Commission renders its decision on the results of the procurement event on Thursday, December 14, 2023.

A Pre-Bid Letter of Credit will expire on the date stated as part of its terms, fourteen (14) business days after the anticipated date of the Commission decision on the procurement event and cash provided as bid assurance collateral will be returned in the same general timeframe. Please note that the return of cash tendered as bid assurance to a Company is not initiated until the Company receives an executed request in a form acceptable to the Company and, for AIC, until a Supplier Request Form is received that AIC finds to be duly completed and, for MEC, until a Vendor Request Form is received that MEC finds to be duly completed.

10-23-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-27
Q: Can a Bidder submit a Part 1 Proposal for a Project and ultimately not move forward with submitting a Part 2 Proposal? Are we required to notify the Illinois Power Agency if we decide not to submit a Part 2 Proposal for a Project?

A Bidder may submit a Part 1 Proposal for a Project, and later decide to not submit a Part 2 Proposal for that Project. If a Bidder ultimately decides not to present a Part 2 Proposal for a Project that qualified through a successful Part 1 Proposal, such Bidder should notify the Procurement Administrator by email at Illinois-RFP@nera.com, with the list of Projects for which the Bidder will not be submitting a Part 2 Proposal as early as practicable and no later than the Part 2 Date. The Procurement Administrator will refer to this list of Projects submitted by the Bidder in conjunction with the Part 2 Proposals submitted in order to determine if the Bidder has provided sufficient bid assurance collateral to all Companies.

For the Bidder to be able to submit Bids on its Project(s), the Bidder must have submitted bid assurance collateral to all Companies in an amount that is sufficient given the Project size for each of the Bidder’s Projects. If the Bidder fails to provide bid assurance collateral to one or more of the Companies or if the Bidder provides bid assurance collateral to all Companies but the amount of the bid assurance collateral for one or more of the Companies is insufficient given the Project size across all of the Bidder’s Projects, the Part 2 Proposals for all of the Bidder’s Projects will be considered deficient.

10-23-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-26
Q: What conditions may the bid assurance collateral be drawn upon?

A Company may draw upon the letter of credit or a Company may draw upon a cash deposit if: (i) the Bidder or a Seller has disclosed information relating to the Proposal for a Project publicly or to any other party (excluding disclosures required by a federal, state, or local agency, or by a court of competent jurisdiction) before the Illinois Commerce Commission has rendered its decision on the results of the procurement event; or (ii) the Bidder or a Seller has made a material omission or misrepresentation in the Part 1 Proposal or the Part 2 Proposal for a Project submitted in connection with the procurement event; or (iii) a Seller has failed to execute the applicable supplier contract for a Project within three (3) business days of being notified that the Illinois Commerce Commission has approved the Bid on that Project or has failed to meet the creditworthiness requirements of the applicable supplier contract within eight (8) business days of such Illinois Commerce Commission decision; or (iv) the Bidder or a Seller has failed to pay to the Illinois Power Agency the applicable Supplier Fee for a Project within seven (7) business days of being notified that the Illinois Commerce Commission has approved the Bid on that Project.

10-23-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-25
Q: Is the Bidder bound to bid the Indicative Quantity of RECs provided in the Part 2 Form?

The Bidder must provide in the online Part 2 Form an indicative quantity of RECs for the Project that represents what the Bidder intends to offer as the full quantity. This indicative quantity of RECs is specified as an annual quantity of RECs. The indicative quantity provided in this section is not binding in that the Bidder may place a Bid on the Bid Date that specifies a full quantity that is different from the indicative quantity submitted in this section, provided that such full quantity in the Bid does not exceed the Maximum Bid Size.

10-23-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-24
Q: Are Bids evaluated independently for each Category of Project?

The evaluation of bids proceeds independently for each Category as described in paragraph I.2.11. of the RFP Rules. In the first step, for a given Category, the evaluation of bids eliminates the bids with strike prices that fail to meet or beat the benchmark. Benchmarks are established by the Procurement Administrator, in consultation with the IPA, the Procurement Monitor, and the ICC Staff. The benchmarks are confidential and are subject to review and approval by the ICC. Please see Appendix 15 for more information on the evaluation process.

10-23-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-23
Q: How are the RECs from each winning project allocated to the Companies?

The RECs from each Project selected through this RFP will be allocated by the Procurement Administrator to the Companies in pre-specified proportions (27.318% to AIC, 72.445% to ComEd, and 0.237% to MEC).

10-23-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-22
Q: When is the bid assurance collateral returned if we submit a Bid and the Project is selected and in the case the Project is not selected?

All bid assurance collateral remains in place until the Commission has rendered a decision on the results of the procurement event. If the Bid for a Project is selected by the evaluation procedure and approved by the Commission, bid assurance collateral remains in place until full execution of the Indexed REC Contract and posting of any required Performance Assurance, and until payment of the Supplier Fee is received. The Commission renders its decision on the results of the procurement event on Thursday, December 14, 2023.

If the Bid for a Project is not selected by the evaluation procedure, the bid assurance collateral for that Project will be returned as stated in Section VI.2.19 of the RFP Rules, “A Pre-Bid Letter of Credit will expire on the date stated as part of its terms, fourteen (14) business days after the anticipated date of the Commission decision on the procurement event and cash provided as bid assurance collateral will be returned in the same general timeframe”.

Please note, that Cash posted as bid assurance collateral under the RFP may be used to meet the performance assurance requirement under the contract without needing to post additional cash separately. A Bidder must indicate whether it elects for cash to be retained by the applicable Company in the Contract Insert, is also labelled INSERT #P2-5, further described in Paragraph V.4.2.

Please see paragraph V.2.2. of the Indexed REC RFP Rules for the conditions under which a draw on cash posted as bid assurance collateral may be made.

10-23-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-21
Q: What is the required amount of bid assurance collateral? Is there a cap on the amount required to each utility?

The amount of bid assurance collateral required for a Project is determined separately for each Company as detailed below. As described in Paragraphs V.2.3 and V.2.5, a Bidder that submits Proposals for multiple Projects may post bid assurance collateral by effecting a single wire transfer to each Company or a single PreBid Letter of Credit to each Company for all Projects. In this case, to determine the amount of bid assurance collateral across all Projects, for each Company the amount of bid assurance collateral for each Project should be calculated as described below and then the amounts, each already rounded up to the nearest $100, should be summed across all Projects.

  • The amount of bid assurance collateral required for AIC is $1,600/MW for a Wind Project and $5,500/MW for a Solar Project and Brownfield Project.
  • The amount of bid assurance collateral required for ComEd is $4,000/MW for a Wind Project and $13,000/MW for a Solar Project and Brownfield Project.
  • The amount of bid assurance collateral required for MEC is $400/MW for a Wind Project and $1,000/MW for a Solar Project and Brownfield Project.

For the Bidder to be able to submit Bids on its Project(s), the Bidder must have submitted bid assurance collateral to all Companies in an amount that is sufficient given the Project size for each of the Bidder’s Projects. There is no cap on the amount of bid assurance collateral tendered to each utility.

10-23-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-20
Q: Where can I find the results from previous Indexed REC Procurements?

The results from previous procurement events can be found on the procurement website. If you click on the “Previous RFPs” link on the left-hand side of the home page, you can find a list of previous procurements. The results are posted on each procurement’s archived page.

The results from the Summer 2023 Indexed REC RFP are linked here for your convenience.

10-23-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-19
Q: Is the Average Winning Bid Price ($/MWh) provided in the Indexed REC RFP Results a weighted average?

The Average Winning Bid Price of $69.83/MWh, provided in the Indexed REC RFP Results for Summer 2023, is an average of the winning strike price for the winning utility-scale solar and brownfield site photovoltaic projects weighted by the annual quantity of RECs awarded for each project. Please note, there were no winning utility-scale wind projects in the Summer 2023 Indexed REC RFP.

10-23-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-18
Q: What information will be publicly disclosed for winning applications?

Under the Illinois Public Utilities Act (220 ILCS 5/16-111.5), “For the procurement of standard wholesale products, the names of the successful bidders and the load weighted average of the winning bid prices for each contract type and for each contract term shall be made available to the public at the time of Commission approval of a procurement event. For procurements conducted to meet the requirements of subsection (b) of Section 1-56 or subsection (c) of Section 1-75 of the Illinois Power Agency Act governed by the provisions of this Section, the address and nameplate capacity of the new renewable energy generating facility proposed by a winning bidder shall also be made available to the public at the time of Commission approval of a procurement event, along with the business address and contact information for any winning bidder. An estimate or approximation of the nameplate capacity of the new renewable energy generating facility may be disclosed if necessary to protect the confidentiality of individual bid prices.”

10-23-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-17
Q: Can you please clarify if each winning project is paid the strike price that they bid or is the highest strike price among the selected projects used for all sellers?

The strike price ($/MWh) provided by the bidder in their bid is used for purposes of payment under the Indexed REC Contract should the Project be selected by the evaluation procedure.

10-23-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-16
Q: Is it a requirement for my Project to interconnect with a specific regional transmission organization or utility?

Under the Indexed REC RFP Rules there is no requirement for where a Project must be interconnected.

10-23-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-15
Q: What are the requirements to demonstrate adequate project maturity?

Please note, in the Part 1 Proposal, the Officer of the Seller is required to make a representation that the Project has reached the appropriate development milestones to fully expect that the Project will deliver its first REC to each Company by a date consistent with terms of the Indexed REC Contract. In the Part 1 Proposal, an RFP Bidder will also be required to provide documentation to demonstrate adequate project maturity. The RFP Bidder must provide, if available for the Project, one of the following:

  • the Queue/OASIS ID from PJM and a copy of the completed System Impact Study from PJM for the Project; or
  • the Project Number from MISO and a copy of the Preliminary System Impact Study under Definitive Planning Phase 1 (“DPP 1”) under the DPP-2020-Cycle 1 or a later study cycle; or
  • the Project Number from MISO and a copy of the fully executed interconnection agreement for the Project; or
  • a fully executed interconnection agreement with a utility for the Project.

If none of the information bulleted above is available for the Project, or if the Bidder cannot provide a document that shows that the Project is further in the interconnection process, then the Bidder must: (i) describe the stage of development of the Project applicable to the point of interconnection and to the size of the Project; and (ii) demonstrate control for a portion of the Project site as described in Paragraph IV.6.2 of the RFP Rules.

According to Paragraph IV.6.2 of the RFP Rules, a “Bidder that demonstrates site control to meet the requirements of Paragraph IV.6.1, must do so for a portion of the Project site that covers an area of at least 40 acres times the Project size for a utility-scale wind project, an area of at least 4 acres times the Project size for a utility-scale solar project, or an area of at least 3 acres times the Project size for a brownfield site photovoltaic project.” For example, if the Project size for a brownfield site project is 10 MW, then the Bidder must demonstrate control for 30 acres included in the Project site.

10-23-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-14
Q: Are all required materials for the Part 1 and Part 2 Proposal submitted through the same online form?

The Part 1 Proposal for a Project consists of the completed online Part 1 Form as well as all documents required by the online Part 1 Form. The Part 2 Proposal for a Project consists of the completed online Part 2 Form, the submission of bid assurance collateral, the submission of any other document required by the online Part 2 Form, and the Bid for the Project. The bid assurance collateral and the Bid will not be submitted using the same online account as the other materials required by the Part 1 and Part 2 Proposals. Additionally, please note that the Bidder’s Bid is not due until the Bid Date, on December 8, 2023, which is after the deadline for all other materials submitted with the Part 2 Proposal, on December 1, 2023.

A Bidder must submit bid assurance collateral for the Project in the form of cash or of a letter of credit to each of the Companies (AIC, ComEd, and MEC). The Bidder must follow all instructions provided by the Procurement Administrator for transmission of bid assurance collateral to each Company. Such instructions are provided by the date of the Part 1 Notification but after submission by the Bidder of a Part 1 Proposal. Such instructions specify that the Bidder must provide cash by wire transfer and that the original executed Pre-Bid Letters of Credit must be in the form of Appendices 5, 6 and 7 to these RFP Rules if submitting the letter of credit via electronic means or in the form of Appendices 8, 9 and 10 to these RFP Rules if submitting the letter of credit via overnight delivery service. The letter of credit may include only modifications to the Standard Pre-Bid Letter of Credit acceptable to that Company, applicable specifically to either the Electronic Version or Hardcopy Version, and posted to the procurement website.

For the submission of the Bid, the Procurement Administrator provides, electronically to each Bidder, a Bid Form and information required for the submission of Bids. The Bid Form, as provided to each Bidder by the Procurement Administrator, is the exclusive method for submitting a Bidder’s Bids. A Bidder must submit the Bid Form to the Procurement Administrator through a secure bid transfer site according to the instructions provided by the Procurement Administrator. Such instructions are provided by the date of the Part 1 Notification.

10-20-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-13
Q: Can a Bidder submit an annual quantity in the Bid based on a portion of the Project capacity?

The Bidder determines the full and minimum quantities of RECs to include in the Bid for a given Project. These quantities may represent a portion of the RECs from a Project. The full quantity must not exceed the Maximum Bid Size. The minimum quantity must not exceed the full quantity. The RECs from each Project selected through this RFP will be allocated by the Procurement Administrator to the Companies in pre-specified proportions (27.318% to AIC, 72.445% to ComEd, and 0.237% to MEC). Please see slide 21 from the Fall 2022 Bidder Information Webcast for a numerical example of this allocation procedure.

Importantly, in the Part 1 Proposal, a Bidder must provide the size of the Project in MW (AC rating), rounded to two (2) decimals, which in turn determines the area for which the Bidder must show site control, the amount of bid assurance collateral posted with the Part 2 Proposal, and the Maximum Bid Size. The size of the Project must be the total size of the Project and not a portion of the Project capacity.

Additionally, please note that under the Indexed REC Contract, the Seller will specify a Project Committed Percentage. The Project Committed Percentage means the percentage of the Project’s Actual Production to be used for purposes of the Standing Order. Please review Section 2.3(b) of the Indexed REC Contract for information regarding the Project Committed Percentage and the Standing Order.

10-20-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-12
Q: Are all of the Part 1 Inserts required?

As part of the Part 1 Proposal the Bidder must complete the online Part 1 Form as well as submit any documents, including Inserts, required to support the online Part 1 Form. As you navigate through the form to complete each section, required fields will appear depending on your response to items and questions. Based on your responses, some Inserts provided in the zip file may or may not be required. For example, the Representative Insert (#P1-1) is only required if the Bidder is naming additional Representatives to be copied on all communications from the Procurement Administrator under the fourth item in Section 1.

The Procurement Administrator provides to all account holders a guide to navigate the online part 1 form interface. Please refer to this document, which is attached to this email for your convenience, for additional information.

10-20-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-11
Q: What is the definition of a strike price? How is the strike price used for payment under the Indexed REC Contract?

Please review and listen to slides 22-24 at minute 39:15 of the Bidder Information Webcast respectively for this information. The presentation materials and the audio recording are posted to the to the Final Materials page of the Indexed Wind, Solar, and Brownfield section of the website.

As defined in the IPA Act, “Strike price” means a contract price for energy and renewable energy credits from a project. The strike price ($/MWh) in the Bid and the Index Price ($/MWh) that corresponds to the Index Hub selected in the bid form will be used for purposes of calculating the REC Monthly Price, defined in the Indexed REC Contract (e.g. if MISO-IL Hub is selected in the bid form as the Index Hub for the Project, then the Index Price for purposes of calculating the REC Monthly Price will be the hourly Real-Time LMP for the MISO-IL Hub).

The REC Monthly Price applicable to the Project with respect to a Vintage month shall be calculated as follows. The REC Monthly Price Hourly Component is the product of (a) the result obtained by subtracting the Strike Price from the Index Price of such hour and (b) the MWh actual generation of the Project for such hour. The REC Monthly Price for a Vintage month shall be calculated by dividing (a) the sum of all REC Monthly Price Hourly Components in such Vintage month by (b) the MWh actual generation of the Project for such Vintage month, and rounding to the nearest cent. The REC Monthly Price may be either positive or negative. Payment is made from Seller to Buyer if the REC Monthly Price is positive and payment is made from Buyer to Seller if the REC Monthly Price is negative.

Please review the Indexed REC Contract for additional information: https://www.ipa-energyrfp.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Indexed-Wind-Solar-and-Brownfield-Final-Indexed-REC-Contract_9-29-2023_FINAL.pdf

10-13-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-10
Q: Does the Indexed REC Contract allow for a post-bid strike price adjustment?

No, there is currently no option to change the strike price under an Indexed REC Contract.

10-13-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-9
Q: If a Bidder posts bid assurance collateral for a project, but ultimately does not submit a bid for the project, is the full amount of the bid assurance collateral returned?

If a Bidder posts bid assurance collateral and does not submit a Bid, the full amount of the bid assurance collateral will be returned within the timeframes provided in the Indexed REC RFP. All bid assurance collateral remains in place until the Commission has rendered a decision on the results of the procurement event. The Commission renders its decision on the results of the procurement event on Thursday, December 14, 2023.

A Pre-Bid Letter of Credit will expire on the date stated as part of its terms, fourteen (14) business days after the anticipated date of the Commission decision on the procurement event and cash provided as bid assurance collateral will be returned in the same general timeframe. Please note that the return of cash tendered as bid assurance to a Company is not initiated until the Company receives an executed request in a form acceptable to the Company and, for AIC, until a Supplier Request Form is received that AIC finds to be duly completed and, for MEC, until a Vendor Request Form is received that MEC finds to be duly completed.

10-13-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-8
Q: Where can I find the Proposal requirements to qualify a Project in an Indexed REC RFP?

Articles IV and V of the Indexed REC RFP Rules posted on September 29, 2023 describe the Proposal requirements for participation in the Fall 2023 Indexed REC RFP. Bidders will submit Proposal materials using online Part 1 and Part 2 forms and can review illustrative versions of these forms provided as Appendix 2 and Appendix 3 to the RFP Rules, respectively.

10-13-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-7
Q: If we paid a Bid Participation Fee pursuant to participation in a prior 2023 procurement event, do we need to submit payment again for the Fall 2023 Indexed REC RFP?

A Bidder that paid a Bid Participation Fee pursuant to participation in a prior procurement event held in 2023, including the Summer 2023 Indexed REC RFP, is not required to pay the Bid Participation Fee again for this Fall 2023 Indexed REC RFP.

10-13-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-6
Q: Can a project located in an adjacent state to Illinois that has already received pre-approval by the IPA to be eligible for Illinois RPS compliance participate in this Indexed REC RFP?

A Project that is located in a state adjacent to Illinois may qualify to participate in the Indexed REC RFP if it meets the public interest criteria specified in Section 1-75(c)(1)(I) of the IPA Act by submitting data about the Project to the IPA and obtaining pre-approval from the IPA that the Project is eligible for Illinois RPS compliance. The evaluation spreadsheet dated August 15, 2022 and available on the IPA’s website, under the header “Adjacent State Facility Eligibility” here, must be used for the Fall 2023 Indexed REC RFP.

If a Project was pre-approved by the IPA ahead of a prior procurement event based on the evaluation spreadsheet dated August 15, 2022, then this approval remains valid for purposes the Fall 2023 Indexed REC RFP. The Bidder must provide evidence of this determination with the Part 1 Proposal.

10-13-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-5
Q: Where can I find the posting of the Bidder Information Webcast materials for the Fall 2023 Indexed REC RFP?

The Procurement Administrator posted the presentation materials and the audio recording from the bidder information webcast held on October 3, 2023 to the Final Materials page of the Indexed Wind, Solar, and Brownfield section of the website.

10-06-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-4
Q: Were any comments received during the Fall 2023 Indexed REC comment process?

The only comments received were text edits to the Post-Bid Letter of Credit, which is provided as Exhibit E to the Draft Indexed REC Contract.

These comments will be reviewed using the same process planned for the Part 1 Window, further explained in Section IV.10 of the RFP Rules. Any of the Commenter’s comments or proposed modifications to the Post-Bid Letter of Credit may result in an addition to the list of modifications to the Post-Bid Letter of Credit approved by the Company for use by all Bidders on an optional basis. Such new modifications, if any, will be included in the preliminary list of acceptable modifications expected to be posted by September 29, 2023.

All Bidders will have an opportunity to provide comments on, or propose modifications to, the Standard Post-Bid Letter of Credit during the Part 1 Window, further explained in Section IV.10 of the RFP Rules.

No other comments were received on the Fall 2023 Indexed REC Contract.

09-27-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-3
Q: Can a Project in MISO’s Surplus Interconnection Process participate in the Indexed REC RFP?

A Project in MISO’s Surplus Interconnection Process may qualify to participate in the Indexed REC RFP. Such a project must meet the requirements of the Indexed REC RFP Rules and comply with the Indexed REC Contract.

Please note, the Officer of the Seller must certify that the Project 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.

08-29-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-2
Q: Where can I find the latest policy guidance to determine whether a Project located in a state adjacent to Illinois meets the public interest criteria in the Act?

The latest policy guidance regarding the requirements for pre-approval from the Illinois Power Agency as to whether a Project located in a state adjacent to Illinois (Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, and Michigan) meets the public interest criteria in the Act and has been pre-approved to be eligible for Illinois RPS compliance can be found in Chapter 4.3 of the IPA’s 2022 Long-Term Renewables Resources Procurement Plan, which can be found on the IPA’s website at https://ipa.illinois.gov/renewable-resources.html.

The evaluation spreadsheet to determine whether a Project located in a state adjacent to Illinois meets the public interest criteria in the Act is available on the IPA’s website, under the header “Adjacent State Facility Eligibility” here. The completed spreadsheet must be submitted to the Illinois Power Agency by email to ipa.contactus@illinois.gov. This spreadsheet may be submitted at any time and bidders are encouraged to submit as soon as practicable.

07-24-2023

FAQ-Indexed REC-1
Q: Where can I find the results from previous Indexed REC Procurements?

The results from previous procurement events can be found on the procurement website. If you click on the “Previous RFPs” link on the left-hand side of the home page, you can find a list of previous procurements. The results are posted on each procurement’s archived page.

07-24-2023