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Illinois

 

An arrow graphic shows that Illinois’s renewable portfolio standard increases from 2 terawatts in 2020, to 3 terawatts (25%) in 2025.

Carve-out: 1.5% of total electricity sales must be from solar PV and 0.25% of the total electricity sales must be from distributed generation
Tracking system: Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System (M-RETS); PJM Generation Attribute Tracking System (PJM-GATS)

 

Illinois's RPS requires investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and retail electric supplies to source 25% of eligible retail electricity sales from renewable energy by 2025. Electric cooperatives and utilities are exempt from the requirements. Midmarket customers are eligible for a grant or rebate from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Public benefit projects may be eligible for low-interest financing from the Illinois Finance Authority. Customer generators interested in selling solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) must register with the PJM-GATS or M-RETS tracking systems. The Illinois Power Agency facilitates SREC transactions.

Latest Updates

  • The Future Energy Jobs Bill was passed in December 2016 and supplemented existing RPS with new requirements for utilities to source 2 terawatt-hour (TWh) of solar and wind power in 2020 and 3 TWh of newly generated solar and wind in 2025.
  • The Solar for All Program, created in December 2016, includes incentives for low-income community solar projects.
  • New streamlined interconnection standards were adopted in October 2016.

Net Metering

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) defines competitive and noncompetitive customer classes in the IOU service territories for net metering purposes. The noncompetitive customer class includes nonresidential customers with loads of less than 100 kW in the ComEd service territory and customers with loads of less than 150 kW in the Ameren service territory.

System size limit: 2 MW

Aggregate cap: Aggregate capacity limits at 5% of utility’s peak demand in previous year

Credit: Noncompetitive customers with electric service on a kWh basis with non-hourly pricing: retail rate

Noncompetitive customers with electric service on a kWh basis with hourly pricing: energy credit plus delivery service credit

Noncompetitive customers with electric service on a kW basis: 1:1 kWh credit

Competitive customers: Provider’s avoided cost of electricity supply

RECs: Customers retain ownership of renewable energy certificates (RECs)

Meter aggregation: Virtual net metering is allowed. As of November 2015, no electric service provider in Illinois has elected to allow meter aggregation

Interconnection

In 2008, ICC developed standards for all distributed generation (DG) up to 10 MW with four tiers. ICC adopted interconnection standards for large DG facilities (over 10 MW) in 2010. In 2016, new interconnection standards came into effect, increasing level 1 expedited process to 25 kW to allow more projects to benefit from the streamlined process and exempting them from external disconnect switch requirements.

Eligible Systems Type of Interconnection
≤25 kW Level 1 expedited review process
>25 kW and ≤2 MW Level 2 expedited review process
>2 MW and ≤10 MW for non-exporting system Level 3 expedited review process
≤50 kW  
>10 MW Full review process

System size limit: Not specified

Liability insurance: At least $2 million if >1 MW

External disconnect switch: Exempt for inverter-based systems ≤25 kW

Third Party Ownership

Third-party system owners are defined as "alternative retail electric suppliers" and are therefore exempt from ICC regulation.

Community Solar

S.B. 2814, enacted in December 2016, established Illinois’ community solar program. The Illinois Solar for All Program offers incentives directly to customers to increase participation of low-income subscribers. Projects are permitted to exceed 2 MW, but not $20 million. Funding will come from the Illinois Power Agency Renewable Energy Resources Fund.

State Incentive Programs

Program Administrator Incentive
Large Distributed Solar and Wind Grant Program Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Large-scale projects (minimum cost $100,000) are eligible for grants of up to $250,000. Grant solicitations are competitive and typically last six to eight weeks. Available to customers of utilities that impose the Renewable Energy Resources and Coal Technology Development Assistance Charge.
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project Financing program Illinois Finance Authority Solar projects that provide a “significant public benefit” may be eligible for tax-exempt financing. Eligible entities include commercial, nonprofit, and education institutions.

Utility Incentive Programs

Check with local utilities for midscale solar incentives.

Resources

The list below provides some resources for each type of policy or program. Please reference and contact relevant authorities and local utilities for the most up-to-date and accurate information on state and utility policies and incentive programs.

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Net metering and interconnection

Community solar

Programs and incentives

Other