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20 ILCS 3855/1-129

    (20 ILCS 3855/1-129)
    Sec. 1-129. Policy study.
    (a) The General Assembly finds that:
        (1) in 2021, Illinois became the first state in the
Midwest to mandate a clean energy future when it enacted the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (Public Act 102-662);
        (2) through the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act,
Illinois established a plan to completely decarbonize its energy sector by 2050 in an equitable manner that invests in the State's workforce;
        (3) technology in the energy sector continues to
advance creating cleaner and more efficient options to help the State attain the target of 50% renewable energy by 2040; and
        (4) while numerous legislative proposals purport to
help the State on its path to equitably attain 100% clean energy, it is important to have a neutral party with relevant expertise evaluate each proposal to ensure it is consistent with the State's goals and maximizes benefits to Illinois residents.
    (b) The General Assembly intends:
        (1) to prioritize the public interest over the profit
motives of utilities and private developers; and
        (2) to invest in projects that reduce harmful
emissions and contribute to the clean economy.
    (c) The Agency shall commission and publish a policy study to evaluate the potential impacts of the proposals described in subsection (g). The potential impacts may include, but are not limited to, support for Illinois' decarbonization goals, the environment, grid reliability, carbon and other pollutant emissions, resource adequacy, long-term and short-term electric rates, environmental justice communities, jobs, and the economy. Where applicable, the study shall address the impact of a proposal with respect to reports by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, PJM, and North American Electric Reliability Corporation staff that Illinois has begun to experience resource adequacy issues.
    (d) The Agency shall retain the services of technical and policy experts with energy market and other relevant fields of expertise. The technical and policy experts may include the existing planning and procurement consultant and applicable subcontractors and the procurement administrator and applicable subcontractors. The Illinois Commerce Commission, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity shall provide support to and consult with the Agency. The Agency may consult with other State agencies, commissions, or task forces as needed. The Agency may consult with and seek assistance from the Regional Transmission Organizations PJM and MISO.
    (e) The Agency may solicit information, including confidential or proprietary information, from entities likely to be impacted by the proposals described in subsection (g) for purposes of this study. Any information designated as confidential or proprietary information by the entity providing the information shall be kept confidential by the Agency, its consultants, and its contractors and is not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
    (f) The Agency shall publish a final policy study no later than March 1, 2024 and suitable copies shall be delivered to the Governor and members of the General Assembly. Prior to publishing the final policy study, the Agency shall publish a preliminary draft of the policy study and provide for a 20-day open public comment period. The Agency shall review public comments and publish a final policy study no later than 20 days after the public comment period ends. The policy study shall include policy recommendations to the General Assembly.
    (g) The policy study shall evaluate the following proposals and may consider or suggest additional or alternative items:
        (1) House Bill 2132 of the 103rd General Assembly as
it passed out of the House on March 24, 2023 or a similar pilot program to establish one new utility-scale offshore wind project capable of producing at least 700,000 megawatt hours annually for at least 20 years in Lake Michigan that includes an equity and inclusion plan to create job opportunities for underrepresented populations in addition to equity investment eligible communities and a fully executed project labor agreement. The pilot program may result in an increase in the amounts paid by eligible retail customers in connection with electric service that shall not exceed 0.25% of the amount paid per kilowatt hour by those customers during the year ending May 31, 2009.
        (2) Senate Bill 1587 and amendments to Senate Bill
1587 of the 103rd General Assembly filed prior to May 31, 2023 or a similar proposal for the deployment of energy storage systems supported by the State through the development of energy storage credit targets for the Agency to procure on behalf of Illinois electric utilities from privately owned, large scale energy storage providers using energy storage contracts of at least 15 year durations based on a competitive energy storage procurement plan developed by the Agency designed to enhance overall grid reliability, flexibility and efficiency, and to lower electricity prices. The plan must require participants to comply with the equity accountability system requirements in subsection (c-10) of Section 1-75 and to submit proof of project labor agreements. For purposes of this policy study, it should be assumed that the costs associated with procuring energy storage credits shall be recovered through tariffed charges assessed across all retail customers in a uniform cents per kilowatt hour charge. In addition to large scale energy storage, the proposal shall also include the creation of distributed level energy storage programs through utility tariffs as approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission. The programs shall include a residential and a commercial storage program that would allow customer-sited batteries to provide grid benefits and cost-savings to ratepayers. The proposal shall also include a community solar energy storage program intended to serve as a peak reduction program by utilizing community solar paired storage projects deployed daily in summer months during peak hours. The installation of the energy storage systems associated with these distributed renewable systems must comply with the prevailing wage requirements described in subparagraph (Q) of paragraph (1) of subsection (c) of Section 1-75. The policy study shall include a review of the ability of coal-fueled generating plant sites located in Illinois that have been closed since 2016 or are scheduled to be closed by 2030 to support the installation of energy storage systems and potential associated interconnection costs. This review shall include: (i) whether those sites are already in a regional transmission organization interconnection queue, including MISO's replacement power interconnection queue, or would be submitted to the replacement power interconnection queue no later than September 1, 2023, and, if a site is in a queue, the site's position in the queue; and (ii) how soon those sites could support development and installation of energy storage systems and any barriers to that development. This review shall also include consultation with electric generation facility owners or operators and renewable developers that own or are in the process of developing energy storage systems in Illinois or that have experience developing energy storage systems in other States.
        (3) A policy establishing high voltage direct current
renewable energy credits that requires the Agency to procure contracts with at least 25 years but no more than 40 years duration for the delivery of renewable energy credits on behalf of electric utilities in Illinois with at least 300,000 customers from a high voltage direct current transmission facility with more than 100 miles of underground transmission lines in this State capable of transmitting electricity at or above 525 kilovolts and delivering power in the PJM market. High voltage direct current renewable energy credits procured by the Agency pursuant to this policy would not count toward the renewable energy credit purchase targets in subsection (c) of Section 1-75. The study shall also evaluate: (i) this policy's potential for wholesale electricity price impacts in both PJM and MISO, the net rate impact to Illinois ratepayers, and the impact on grid reliability and resilience; (ii) whether a 25-year to 40-year guaranteed contract is necessary to build a high voltage direct current transmission facility; (iii) whether specific high voltage direct current transmission facility projects are committed to Illinois' fair labor and equity standards; and (iv) whether the policy creates incentives for renewable development outside of Illinois rather than within the State.
(Source: P.A. 103-580, eff. 12-8-23.)