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.