Indexed REC-69: Can we provide the IPA a draft of the Project Labor Agreement (PLA) or a draft of PLA related provisions we intend to insert into our EPC contractor agreement so that the IPA can determine if the language is acceptable? Specifically, if we include in our EPC contractor agreement the relevant PLA related provisions so that the PLA requirements flow through to the EPC contractor and requiring the EPC contractor to negotiate a PLA, would that be a satisfactory way for us to comply with the PLA requirements under the Indexed REC Contract? If this is not satisfactory, please provide us guidance on the PLA requirements.

The IPA does not review draft Project Labor Agreements or approve elements of a  reporting requirement or required document before the such report or document has been submitted. Please note that the Seller is responsible for understanding and complying with the requirements of the Indexed REC Contract, even where a contractor or subcontractor will be the party ultimately performing the complying action. Solely including a provision in a contract for an EPC requiring that the EPC negotiate a PLA is not sufficient. The Seller must submit PLA itself to the Agency Director for approval.

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.