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20 ILCS 3855/1-56

    (20 ILCS 3855/1-56)
    Sec. 1-56. Illinois Power Agency Renewable Energy Resources Fund.
    (a) The Illinois Power Agency Renewable Energy Resources Fund is created as a special fund in the State treasury.
    (b) The Illinois Power Agency Renewable Energy Resources Fund shall be administered by the Agency to procure renewable energy resources. Prior to June 1, 2011, resources procured pursuant to this Section shall be procured from facilities located in Illinois, provided the resources are available from those facilities. If resources are not available in Illinois, then they shall be procured in states that adjoin Illinois. If resources are not available in Illinois or in states that adjoin Illinois, then they may be purchased elsewhere. Beginning June 1, 2011, resources procured pursuant to this Section shall be procured from facilities located in Illinois or states that adjoin Illinois. If resources are not available in Illinois or in states that adjoin Illinois, then they may be procured elsewhere. To the extent available, at least 75% of these renewable energy resources shall come from wind generation. Of the renewable energy resources procured pursuant to this Section at least the following specified percentages shall come from photovoltaics on the following schedule: 0.5% by June 1, 2012; 1.5% by June 1, 2013; 3% by June 1, 2014; and 6% by June 1, 2015 and thereafter. Of the renewable energy resources procured pursuant to this Section, at least the following percentages shall come from distributed renewable energy generation devices: 0.5% by June 1, 2013, 0.75% by June 1, 2014, and 1% by June 1, 2015 and thereafter. To the extent available, half of the renewable energy resources procured from distributed renewable energy generation shall come from devices of less than 25 kilowatts in nameplate capacity. Renewable energy resources procured from distributed generation devices may also count towards the required percentages for wind and solar photovoltaics. Procurement of renewable energy resources from distributed renewable energy generation devices shall be done on an annual basis through multi-year contracts of no less than 5 years, and shall consist solely of renewable energy credits.
    The Agency shall create credit requirements for suppliers of distributed renewable energy. In order to minimize the administrative burden on contracting entities, the Agency shall solicit the use of third-party organizations to aggregate distributed renewable energy into groups of no less than one megawatt in installed capacity. These third-party organizations shall administer contracts with individual distributed renewable energy generation device owners. An individual distributed renewable energy generation device owner shall have the ability to measure the output of his or her distributed renewable energy generation device.
    (c) The Agency shall procure renewable energy resources at least once each year in conjunction with a procurement event for electric utilities required to comply with Section 1-75 of the Act and shall, whenever possible, enter into long-term contracts on an annual basis for a portion of the incremental requirement for the given procurement year.
    (d) The price paid to procure renewable energy credits using monies from the Illinois Power Agency Renewable Energy Resources Fund shall not exceed the winning bid prices paid for like resources procured for electric utilities required to comply with Section 1-75 of this Act.
    (e) All renewable energy credits procured using monies from the Illinois Power Agency Renewable Energy Resources Fund shall be permanently retired.
    (f) The procurement process described in this Section is exempt from the requirements of the Illinois Procurement Code, pursuant to Section 20-10 of that Code.
    (g) All disbursements from the Illinois Power Agency Renewable Energy Resources Fund shall be made only upon warrants of the Comptroller drawn upon the Treasurer as custodian of the Fund upon vouchers signed by the Director or by the person or persons designated by the Director for that purpose. The Comptroller is authorized to draw the warrant upon vouchers so signed. The Treasurer shall accept all warrants so signed and shall be released from liability for all payments made on those warrants.
    (h) The Illinois Power Agency Renewable Energy Resources Fund shall not be subject to sweeps, administrative charges, or chargebacks, including, but not limited to, those authorized under Section 8h of the State Finance Act, that would in any way result in the transfer of any funds from this Fund to any other fund of this State or in having any such funds utilized for any purpose other than the express purposes set forth in this Section.
    (i) Supplemental procurement process.
        (1) Within 90 days after the effective date of this
    
amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly, the Agency shall develop a one-time supplemental procurement plan limited to the procurement of renewable energy credits, if available, from new or existing photovoltaics, including, but not limited to, distributed photovoltaic generation. Nothing in this subsection (i) requires procurement of wind generation through the supplemental procurement.
        Renewable energy credits procured from new
    
photovoltaics, including, but not limited to, distributed photovoltaic generation, under this subsection (i) must be procured from devices installed by a qualified person. In its supplemental procurement plan, the Agency shall establish contractually enforceable mechanisms for ensuring that the installation of new photovoltaics is performed by a qualified person.
        For the purposes of this paragraph (1), "qualified
    
person" means a person who performs installations of photovoltaics, including, but not limited to, distributed photovoltaic generation, and who: (A) has completed an apprenticeship as a journeyman electrician from a United States Department of Labor registered electrical apprenticeship and training program and received a certification of satisfactory completion; or (B) does not currently meet the criteria under clause (A) of this paragraph (1), but is enrolled in a United States Department of Labor registered electrical apprenticeship program, provided that the person is directly supervised by a person who meets the criteria under clause (A) of this paragraph (1); or (C) has obtained one of the following credentials in addition to attesting to satisfactory completion of at least 5 years or 8,000 hours of documented hands-on electrical experience: (i) a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Installer Certificate for Solar PV; (ii) an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) PV Systems Installer Certificate; (iii) an Electronics Technicians Association, International (ETAI) Level 3 PV Installer Certificate; or (iv) an Associate in Applied Science degree from an Illinois Community College Board approved community college program in renewable energy or a distributed generation technology.
        For the purposes of this paragraph (1), "directly
    
supervised" means that there is a qualified person who meets the qualifications under clause (A) of this paragraph (1) and who is available for supervision and consultation regarding the work performed by persons under clause (B) of this paragraph (1), including a final inspection of the installation work that has been directly supervised to ensure safety and conformity with applicable codes.
        For the purposes of this paragraph (1), "install"
    
means the major activities and actions required to connect, in accordance with applicable building and electrical codes, the conductors, connectors, and all associated fittings, devices, power outlets, or apparatuses mounted at the premises that are directly involved in delivering energy to the premises' electrical wiring from the photovoltaics, including, but not limited to, to distributed photovoltaic generation.
        The renewable energy credits procured pursuant to the
    
supplemental procurement plan shall be procured using up to $30,000,000 from the Illinois Power Agency Renewable Energy Resources Fund. The Agency shall not plan to use funds from the Illinois Power Agency Renewable Energy Resources Fund in excess of the monies on deposit in such fund or projected to be deposited into such fund. The supplemental procurement plan shall ensure adequate, reliable, affordable, efficient, and environmentally sustainable renewable energy resources (including credits) at the lowest total cost over time, taking into account any benefits of price stability.
        To the extent available, 50% of the renewable energy
    
credits procured from distributed renewable energy generation shall come from devices of less than 25 kilowatts in nameplate capacity. Procurement of renewable energy credits from distributed renewable energy generation devices shall be done through multi-year contracts of no less than 5 years. The Agency shall create credit requirements for counterparties. In order to minimize the administrative burden on contracting entities, the Agency shall solicit the use of third parties to aggregate distributed renewable energy. These third parties shall enter into and administer contracts with individual distributed renewable energy generation device owners. An individual distributed renewable energy generation device owner shall have the ability to measure the output of his or her distributed renewable energy generation device.
        In developing the supplemental procurement plan, the
    
Agency shall hold at least one workshop open to the public within 90 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly and shall consider any comments made by stakeholders or the public. Upon development of the supplemental procurement plan within this 90-day period, copies of the supplemental procurement plan shall be posted and made publicly available on the Agency's and Commission's websites. All interested parties shall have 14 days following the date of posting to provide comment to the Agency on the supplemental procurement plan. All comments submitted to the Agency shall be specific, supported by data or other detailed analyses, and, if objecting to all or a portion of the supplemental procurement plan, accompanied by specific alternative wording or proposals. All comments shall be posted on the Agency's and Commission's websites. Within 14 days following the end of the 14-day review period, the Agency shall revise the supplemental procurement plan as necessary based on the comments received and file its revised supplemental procurement plan with the Commission for approval.
        (2) Within 5 days after the filing of the
    
supplemental procurement plan at the Commission, any person objecting to the supplemental procurement plan shall file an objection with the Commission. Within 10 days after the filing, the Commission shall determine whether a hearing is necessary. The Commission shall enter its order confirming or modifying the supplemental procurement plan within 90 days after the filing of the supplemental procurement plan by the Agency.
        (3) The Commission shall approve the supplemental
    
procurement plan of renewable energy credits to be procured from new or existing photovoltaics, including, but not limited to, distributed photovoltaic generation, if the Commission determines that it will ensure adequate, reliable, affordable, efficient, and environmentally sustainable electric service in the form of renewable energy credits at the lowest total cost over time, taking into account any benefits of price stability.
        (4) The supplemental procurement process under this
    
subsection (i) shall include each of the following components:
            (A) Procurement administrator. The Agency may
        
retain a procurement administrator in the manner set forth in item (2) of subsection (a) of Section 1-75 of this Act to conduct the supplemental procurement or may elect to use the same procurement administrator administering the Agency's annual procurement under Section 1-75.
            (B) Procurement monitor. The procurement
        
monitor retained by the Commission pursuant to Section 16-111.5 of the Public Utilities Act shall:
                (i) monitor interactions among the
            
procurement administrator and bidders and suppliers;
                (ii) monitor and report to the Commission on
            
the progress of the supplemental procurement process;
                (iii) provide an independent confidential
            
report to the Commission regarding the results of the procurement events;
                (iv) assess compliance with the procurement
            
plan approved by the Commission for the supplemental procurement process;
                (v) preserve the confidentiality of supplier
            
and bidding information in a manner consistent with all applicable laws, rules, regulations, and tariffs;
                (vi) provide expert advice to the Commission
            
and consult with the procurement administrator regarding issues related to procurement process design, rules, protocols, and policy-related matters;
                (vii) consult with the procurement
            
administrator regarding the development and use of benchmark criteria, standard form contracts, credit policies, and bid documents; and
                (viii) perform, with respect to the
            
supplemental procurement process, any other procurement monitor duties specifically delineated within subsection (i) of this Section.
            (C) Solicitation, pre-qualification, and
        
registration of bidders. The procurement administrator shall disseminate information to potential bidders to promote a procurement event, notify potential bidders that the procurement administrator may enter into a post-bid price negotiation with bidders that meet the applicable benchmarks, provide supply requirements, and otherwise explain the competitive procurement process. In addition to such other publication as the procurement administrator determines is appropriate, this information shall be posted on the Agency's and the Commission's websites. The procurement administrator shall also administer the prequalification process, including evaluation of credit worthiness, compliance with procurement rules, and agreement to the standard form contract developed pursuant to item (D) of this paragraph (4). The procurement administrator shall then identify and register bidders to participate in the procurement event.
            (D) Standard contract forms and credit terms and
        
instruments. The procurement administrator, in consultation with the Agency, the Commission, and other interested parties and subject to Commission oversight, shall develop and provide standard contract forms for the supplier contracts that meet generally accepted industry practices as well as include any applicable State of Illinois terms and conditions that are required for contracts entered into by an agency of the State of Illinois. Standard credit terms and instruments that meet generally accepted industry practices shall be similarly developed. Contracts for new photovoltaics shall include a provision attesting that the supplier will use a qualified person for the installation of the device pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection (i) of this Section. The procurement administrator shall make available to the Commission all written comments it receives on the contract forms, credit terms, or instruments. If the procurement administrator cannot reach agreement with the parties as to the contract terms and conditions, the procurement administrator must notify the Commission of any disputed terms and the Commission shall resolve the dispute. The terms of the contracts shall not be subject to negotiation by winning bidders, and the bidders must agree to the terms of the contract in advance so that winning bids are selected solely on the basis of price.
            (E) Requests for proposals; competitive
        
procurement process. The procurement administrator shall design and issue requests for proposals to supply renewable energy credits in accordance with the supplemental procurement plan, as approved by the Commission. The requests for proposals shall set forth a procedure for sealed, binding commitment bidding with pay-as-bid settlement, and provision for selection of bids on the basis of price, provided, however, that no bid shall be accepted if it exceeds the benchmark developed pursuant to item (F) of this paragraph (4).
            (F) Benchmarks. Benchmarks for each product to
        
be procured shall be developed by the procurement administrator in consultation with Commission staff, the Agency, and the procurement monitor for use in this supplemental procurement.
            (G) A plan for implementing contingencies in the
        
event of supplier default, Commission rejection of results, or any other cause.
        (5) Within 2 business days after opening the sealed
    
bids, the procurement administrator shall submit a confidential report to the Commission. The report shall contain the results of the bidding for each of the products along with the procurement administrator's recommendation for the acceptance and rejection of bids based on the price benchmark criteria and other factors observed in the process. The procurement monitor also shall submit a confidential report to the Commission within 2 business days after opening the sealed bids. The report shall contain the procurement monitor's assessment of bidder behavior in the process as well as an assessment of the procurement administrator's compliance with the procurement process and rules. The Commission shall review the confidential reports submitted by the procurement administrator and procurement monitor and shall accept or reject the recommendations of the procurement administrator within 2 business days after receipt of the reports.
        (6) Within 3 business days after the Commission
    
decision approving the results of a procurement event, the Agency shall enter into binding contractual arrangements with the winning suppliers using the standard form contracts.
        (7) The names of the successful bidders and the
    
average of the winning bid prices for each contract type and for each contract term shall be made available to the public within 2 days after the supplemental procurement event. The Commission, the procurement monitor, the procurement administrator, the Agency, and all participants in the procurement process shall maintain the confidentiality of all other supplier and bidding information in a manner consistent with all applicable laws, rules, regulations, and tariffs. Confidential information, including the confidential reports submitted by the procurement administrator and procurement monitor pursuant to this Section, shall not be made publicly available and shall not be discoverable by any party in any proceeding, absent a compelling demonstration of need, nor shall those reports be admissible in any proceeding other than one for law enforcement purposes.
        (8) The supplemental procurement provided in this
    
subsection (i) shall not be subject to the requirements and limitations of subsections (c) and (d) of this Section.
        (9) Expenses incurred in connection with the
    
procurement process held pursuant to this Section, including, but not limited to, the cost of developing the supplemental procurement plan, the procurement administrator, procurement monitor, and the cost of the retirement of renewable energy credits purchased pursuant to the supplemental procurement shall be paid for from the Illinois Power Agency Renewable Energy Resources Fund. The Agency shall enter into an interagency agreement with the Commission to reimburse the Commission for its costs associated with the procurement monitor for the supplemental procurement process.
(Source: P.A. 97-616, eff. 10-26-11; 98-672, eff. 6-30-14.)