The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act
Renewable Energy Development
CEJA’s Vision for 100% Renewable Energy in Illinois
Creating the Clean Energy Future
The climate crisis presents an unprecedented challenge and an unparalleled opportunity. The challenge is that we need to transition our current energy system - largely reliant on expensive and polluting fossil fuels - to clean, affordable renewable energy to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. By creating a funding pathway to 100% renewable energy, CEJA creates one of the most ambitious plans for renewable energy development in the country and puts tens of thousands of Illinois residents to work building our future.
Fixes Renewable Energy Funding Gap, Sets New Targets
CEJA commits Illinois to 100% renewable energy and provides the path and funding to get there. We will hit 46% renewable energy by 2030, including over 17,000 MW of new solar energy and 6,300 MW of new wind energy.
CEJA fixes the renewable energy “cliff” by increasing the renewables budget and directing the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) to take immediate action to sustain our clean energy economy while it determines how to implement CEJA through its planning process.
Redesigns Community Solar to Maximize Benefits
CEJA creates two new programs designed to maximize the benefits of community solar:
- One competitive procurement track that allows for larger projects better able to take advantage of economies of scale, saving the state and subscribers money.
- Another procurement that incentivises community-ownership and ensures that smaller, geographically diverse, and community-engaged projects are supported.
Protects Solar Customers and Ensures Continued Growth
Avoids confusion by extending Net Metering benefits to all eligible customers until a replacement value and mechanism is finalized. It also clarifies benefits so that solar + storage systems and multi-family residences can more easily participate.
Increases the project size cap for the smallest funding category to 25 kW. This will make it easier for farms, churches, and small businesses to go solar.
Adds requirements for utilities to improve the interconnection of renewables to the grid and invites the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to review related costs and processes.
Guarantees the Right to Produce, Consume, and Store Energy
Ensures the right to all Illinoisans, regardless of utility, to produce, generate, consume, export, store, and interconnect a renewable energy system in a timely manner, and receive fair credit for energy produced.
Requires the ICC to protect the rights of customers from discriminatory repercussions or treatment from a public utility, electric cooperative, or municipal utility regardless of whether customers produce energy through an owned or leased system, or by other means.
How is it paid for?
- Addresses renewables jobs cliff with initial budget increase:
- Rate cap increased from 2.015% to 2.67% through mid-2023
- Gives IPA the funding it needs to fully meet renewables goals over long-term
- Rate cap increased to 4.88% beginning mid-2023
- Savings from capacity market reform would be redirected to cover the renewable energy budget before the renewable energy customer charge would be used, ensuring little or no customer impact from the rate cap increase
Why is it urgent?
Funding for community solar projects expired in April 2019. Funding for larger solar projects (think schools and churches) expired in March 2020. The remaining funds - those for smaller rooftop solar projects - are likely to expire before the end of 2020. We have already passed the “solar cliff” moment of renewable energy funding. We need the additional funding and programmatic reforms in CEJA now to keep the jobs we’ve created and expand on that success.
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