Illinois currently has a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policy in place that calls on the state’s utility companies to secure 25% of their electricity from renewable resources by 2025.
However, this policy is broken. The law was written before electric competition took hold. As cities across Illinois are now buying electricity from retail suppliers rather than utilities, the original law needs to be amended to capture the intent of the RPS.
As reported on the front page of the Chicago Tribune ("Energy Fund Lacks Power," May 13, 2013) and in Crain’s Chicago Business ("A Mighty Wind Problem," April 8, 2013), “customers of the state's two major electric utilities defected en masse.” The result is that Illinois is failing to meet its obligations under the RPS.
A bill sponsored by Illinois Senate Senator Mike Frerichs, SB 103, contains a simple, no-cost, solution to resolve this problem. SB 103 empowers the Illinois Power Agency to manage a cost-effective competitive procurement process. Under the bill, rate caps remain in force and increased efficiencies ensure no additional costs for ratepayers or utilities.
Nearly 2,400 megawatts of new wind energy generation have already secured permits in Illinois, but without a fix to the Illinois RPS, these projects are on hold. These projects have the potential to bring a $4.7 billion investment to Illinois, deliver over $7 million per year to landowners in annual lease payments, and support thousands of local jobs.
Please write to your state-level elected officials today and urge them to support SB 103. Start by entering your zip code below. We have created a template email for you, but encourage you to personalize it, as your unique words will have a more lasting impact on your legislators.