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.