Case Number: 11-0660

  • December 23, 2011

    My company assists businesses and communities in defining and deploying smart energy solutions. These solutions include customized energy use improvements and renewable energy technology investments and supporting financing and incentives. Such investments provide communities and businesses with alternative choices to traditional energy (fossil and nuclear) with the associated benefits of reduced pollution, reduced reliance on foreign oil and increased local economic development. Distributed solutions also engage people locally, leading to broader understanding and acceptance of renewable energy.

    As Illinois rolls out its RPS plan for solar, these local contributors to green energy need to be incentivized concurrently with the deployment of solar PV by the utilities – this allows these smaller local entities to participate in the SREC market and hedge against energy market volatility and provide a competitive pressure on the utilities, hopefully keeping costs down for all energy consumers. Further, as we move toward electric vehicles and the supporting infrastructure, we need to offset these power plant capacities and associated emissions with solar PV as we charge the vehicles locally. Solar PV is uniquely suited for distributed power as it is relatively unobtrusive, can be widely placed on rooftops and ground locations. I also think the distributed solar can fit nicely into Community Choice Aggregation programs that lower rates and possibly fund distributed solar in concert with the aggregation. We just need some policy driving logical incentive assistance that will facilitate both broad scale utility solutions and distributed solutions.

    I support the idea of workshops to further explore the best source forward for the State of Illinois. These workshops should bring a wide range of participants and ideas to set the stage for the next generation of solar in Illinois. The focus should be on a realistic projection of the alternatives and the associated benefits and levelized costs.

    Tim MIlburn
  • December 21, 2011

    It's time to stop being selfish by burning up "cheap" carbon fuel resources which pollute the atmosphere, change the climate and rob future generations of their legacy. Please make the right choice and promote clean energy by supporting distributed solar energy sources. I'm doing what I can with my 3kW, 15 panel solar system and Nissan Leaf. Before it's too late, do the right thing.
    Steve White
  • December 21, 2011

    As an Illinois power consumer, I am writing to urge you to take advantage of a tremendous opportunity to create jobs and reduce air pollution by using distributed solar energy sources to power my home.

    I am already planning on putting in my own solar PV panels and have received a state grant. But my panels will not provide all the power I need to run the house. I would like the rest of the power to come from renewable sources also.

    Distributed solar energy sources, like those from rooftops, will not only provide clean, renewable energy to my community but create good stable jobs for Illinois workers and can have benefits for our grid. Supplying my power from distributed solar systems across the state will make Illinois a leader in local clean energy production, powering us to a cleaner, more prosperous future. I respectfully encourage you to look further at the benefits of a distributed solar generation program through an inclusive and transparent workshop process.

    Thank you for the work you do to ensure our power supply, and for considering the advantages distributed solar provides to the grid and to Illinois energy consumers like me. By studying and including distributed solar power in our power mix, we can take another big step to a better, clean energy future.

    Richard Stuckey
  • December 21, 2011

    I urge you to move ahead on solar distributed generation plans. As an electricity consumer who is concerned about clean energy and growing green jobs in Illinois, I support the ICC directing the IPA to hold distributed solar generation workshops with a view to including a well thought out distributed solar generation plan in the 2013 IPA procurement plan.
    With the help of the ICC, Illinois can be a leader in the green economy. As a long-time Sierra Club member, I am aware of all the ways Illinois is already a leader in renewable energy. It is time to move ahead with distributed solar generation in a timely, well planned way.

    Linda Sullivan
  • December 21, 2011

    The Illinois Solar Energy Association (ISEA) is a non-profit organization that promotes the widespread application of solar energy and a state chapter of the American Solar Energy Society. We represent about 400 members including 100 businesses throughout Illinois. As a result, we have followed closely the IPA 2012 Draft Procurement Plan and the distributed solar generation procurement provisions. In order to develop a fair and effective distributed solar generation procurement plan for 2013, the IPA must hold workshops in 2012. We agree with the Commission’s decision in the proposed order to defer consideration of a distributed solar generation procurement event until 2013. It is in the best interest of the solar industry, electricity consumers, and the power industry in general to have a comprehensive and well-designed procurement process that gets it right the first time. The IPA must hold a series of workshops that bring all interested parties to the table. The ISEA believes that the ICC and IPA should be cognizant of the fact that distributed solar power involves individuals and smaller companies who are not familiar with the IPA and ICC regulatory process. While ISEA makes every effort to educate and represent its members, the IPA and ICC have a much greater ability to engage and elicit comments from these parties.
    We recommend that these workshops be set at times and locations that are readily accessible for individuals and companies throughout Illinois who do not have the scheduling flexibility or dedicated policy professionals, respectively, of many of the larger interested parties. We also recommend these workshops involve an education component in which the regulatory landscape is explained. The ISEA feels these suggestions will create a more effective solar procurement plan by eliciting quality comments and suggestions.
    The IPA must analyze and quantify the benefits of distributed solar generation to the grid infrastructure in Illinois. One of the most undervalued benefits of a distributed solar procurement plan is the benefit to the existing grid infrastructure. Studies from Europe, Asia and states like California have shown that existing grid infrastructure is capable of absorbing significant amounts of distributed generation. Distributed generation also reduces transmission losses, degradation of utility equipment by mitigating peak demand, and the economic loss of black-outs. This modeling produces quantifiable benefits of solar and distributive generation that can be including in the rate-making process. Requiring the IPA to investigate these benefits will provide the opportunity to understand the benefits of distributed solar distribution and then leverage these benefits in future procurement plans.
    Creating a meaningful distributed solar generation program will create long-term jobs in Illinois. The installation of distributed solar generation will fall primarily upon small and medium sized businesses. These are jobs that have been lost during this economic downturn and will revitalize the economy and create long-term growth and stability. Illinois’ policy to encourage utility-scale wind power development enabled the state to create upwards of 10,000 jobs in the industry, making it one of the US leaders. A similar effort of policy support can achieve similar results in the solar and distributive generation industries.
    Greater reliance upon distributed solar power generation reduces air pollution and environmental regulatory burdens on the electric power industry. Distributed solar generation provides significant environmental benefits in two ways. It reduces the amount of electricity that must be generated by conventional power. Also, by being generated at or near the point of consumption, it greatly reduces line loss, requiring less electricity and associated pollution to be generated in the first place.
    The electric power industry faces increasing regulation by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA will be releasing the final Clean Air Act Utility MACT in the next few days. Many industry sources believe that large numbers of coal plants will be forced to shut down rather than meet the more stringent environmental requirements and increased power disruption. Distributed solar generation can alleviate impacts of coal plants closing in the area. These regulatory issues are a precursor to market forces of growing power demand and rising feedstock and power plant construction costs which are changing the economic landscape.
    The ISEA encourages the ICC and IPA’s development of a distributed solar procurement plan through an inclusive and transparent process involving workshops and other measures to obtain input from all relevant parties as well as an analysis of the benefits of such a program to the grid. Respectfully submitted, Mark Burger, President, Illinois Solar Energy Association mark.burger@illinoissolar.org 708-267-7965

    Mark Burger
  • December 21, 2011

    This is in support of distributed solar electricity generation.
    Illinois has among its objectives: to increase renewable energy as stated in Portfolio Standards; to decrease pollution; to foster the economy by using local resources; to create jobs. Distributed solar electricity does all these things- so support it.
    Harold Rafson

    Harold Rafson
  • December 21, 2011

    I am requesting, asking for solar power to be available to us, residents of Oak LAwn. Even the ability to install solar panels in our homes woudl be an incentive, but any step in the right direction is greatly appreciated.
    Thank you!

    Rosita Clarke
  • December 21, 2011

    I am an Illinois resident and write to urge you to take advantage of a tremendous opportunity to create jobs and reduce air pollution by using distributed solar energy sources to power homes like mine.

    Distributed solar energy sources would not only provide clean, renewable energy to my community but create good stable jobs for Illinois workers and can have benefits for our grid. Supplying my power from distributed solar systems across the state will make Illinois a leader in local clean energy production, powering us to a cleaner, more prosperous future. I respectfully encourage you to look further at the benefits of a distributed solar generation program through an inclusive and transparent workshop process.

    Thank you for the work you do to ensure our power supply and for considering the advantages distributed solar provides to the grid and to Illinois energy consumers like me. By studying and including distributed solar power in our power mix, we can take another big step to a better, clean energy future.

    Sincerely,
    Ian Kelly

    Ian Kelly
  • December 21, 2011

    Dear Sirs:

    I currently buy power from large power companies who control the price and availability of my electric power. They do work with the state legislators to set the price but this can be a political decision. I would much prefer to generate my own power and share it with other local consumers. There now seems to be great opportunities to allow individual Illinois home owners to have more control over the generation of their own power and at the same time to create jobs and reduce air pollution by using distributed solar energy sources to power my home.

    Distributed solar energy sources, like those from rooftops, will not only provide clean, renewable energy to my community but create good stable jobs for Illinois workers and can have benefits for our grid. Supplying my power from distributed solar systems across the state will make Illinois a leader in local clean energy production, powering us to a cleaner, more prosperous future. I respectfully encourage you to look further at the benefits of a distributed solar generation program through an inclusive and transparent workshop process.

    Thank you for the work you do to ensure our power supply, and for considering the advantages distributed solar provides to the grid and to Illinois energy consumers like me. By studying and including distributed solar power in our power mix, we can take another big step to a better, clean energy future.

    Douglas Gerleman
  • December 21, 2011

    As an Illinois power consumer, I am writing to urge you to take advantage of a tremendous opportunity to create jobs and reduce air pollution by using distributed solar energy sources to power my home. This issue is very important to my family and most importantly my children. I thank you in advance for taking the time to read this.

    In a school assignment to identify a problem and propose a solution, my eight year old daughter identified pollution and transportation as a problems (this was unprompted). She proposed solving it by developing a solar-powered triple-decker bus. Knowing the future of energy is increasingly important for my children and their future, I urge you to act rather than wait for her generation to act. Our elementary schools focus on teaching our children to be responsible citizens. They are looking to us as a broader community to show them what that means. This is such an opportunity to pave the way and show our children and the community what the possibilities can be. When my daughter asks again when we will use solar power, I want to be able to tell her it will be soon and that her solar-powered triple-decker bus will help make a difference.

    Thank you for the work you do to ensure our power supply and move us toward a clean energy future for all, most especially our children.

    Christine Cockman
  • December 21, 2011

    To: Illinois Commerce Commissioners

    As General Manager of Solar Universe: Central Illinois, a solar integrator and local business based in Springfield. I would like to comment on the IPA Procurement Plan for Distributed Solar Procurement Program in Proposed Order 11-0660. We support the ICC’s direction to the IPA to hold workshops on a distributed solar procurement plan in 2012 and to support the IPA plan to introduce this program in its 2013 procurement proposal. We would also like to encourage the State of Illinois and its utilities to support its residents by having similar incentives to neighboring states Indiana and Missouri.

    Our company began operations in 2011 with the goal of providing affordable solar energy solutions to residential, commercial and agricultural clients. We currently employ 6 people and plan to add staff in 2012. These are sales, administrative and installation jobs that were not available in Springfield just a few months ago. We will also utilize local independent contractors, electricians and other engineering and architectural partners. The sum of our impact in the Springfield area alone has been well over $300,000 in just under six months of operations and have other projects in the works.

    Well documented surveys have shown that solar is supported by over 90% of the population. The IPA’s workshop plan should recognize the public’s interest. We would like to see the workshops be inclusive, open to the public, held throughout the state and allow participation by all facets of the solar industry.These include business leaders, government officials, utilities, installers, designers and architects. Other cities and states that have introduced incentive programs should be invited and allowed to comment on their success.

    The ICC should encourage the IPA to study the benefits of grid stabilization for the utilities who support additional generation outside traditional means. The IPA should determine and quantify this long term, positive impact of solar generation on all utilities in the state.

    The solar industry is a consistently growing industry with installs increasing 100% from 2010 to 2011. The industry has added 17,000 new jobs in 2011. The technology has been proven in over 50 years of use and pricing has come down significantly in the last 20 years.Solar generation will allow for reduced dependence on traditional energy, cleaner air, improved efficiency and economical improvement for consumers and utilities

    Solar Universe is a unique solar installation and finance concept headquartered in Northern California with a mission to be the very best at what we do. We are the sum of a network of owner-operated install partners where Quality, Safety, Service and Consistency are guiding principles. These principles support our service oriented approach to enabling you to produce power on your home or business. In short, we make solar an easy, affordable and fun experience. Just ask our members!

    We are prepared to attend, speak and promote solar through this workshop effort by the IPA and to meet the demand for solar power in Illinois with innovative financing options, great products and personalized service. Thank you for your consideration.

    Bill Lillard
  • December 21, 2011

    As an Illinois power consumer, I am writing to strongly urge you to take advantage of a tremendous opportunity to reduce air pollution while creating jobs by using distributed solar energy sources to power my home. It is time that Illinois become a leader in local clean energy productions ensuring a cleaner and more prosperous future for our children.
    Distributed solar energy sources, like those from rooftops, will not only provide clean, renewable energy to my community but create good stable jobs for Illinois workers and can have benefits for our grid. I respectfully encourage you to look further at the benefits of a distributed solar generation program through an inclusive and transparent workshop process.
    Thank you for the work you do to ensure our power supply, and for considering the advantages distributed solar provides to the grid and to Illinois energy consumers like me. By studying and including distributed solar power in our power mix, we can take another big step to a better, clean energy future.

    Amy Funk
  • December 21, 2011

    Thank you for providing the opportunity to submit comments on the 2012 procurement plan.

    I am Chester Kolodziej, Executive Director of Freedom Field located in Rockford, Illinois.
    Freedom Field is located in Rockford, Illinois, proud home of the only solar panel manufacturing facility in Illinois. Freedom Field is heavily involved in promoting solar as an economic development tool for our chronically unemployed economy. As a leadership example we have installed 12.3 KW of these homegrown panels, using a local contractor with local IBEW labor.

    We encourage the ICC to support a Distributed Solar Procurement Program.

    Distributed generation in Illinois has the dual impact of creating employment for our local facility, as well as creating construction jobs at our proposed 62MW solar farm located at the Rockford Airport. This is been approved by all regulatory agencies and as a result of the 2011 “buy”, 2 MW are being installed currently having the dual benefit of both manufacturing and construction jobs.

    We respectfully recommend that the IPA hold a series of workshops prior to the Spring 2012 procurement events to seek stakeholder input on program features and implementation procedures.

    We support the ICC directing the IPA to hold workshops to thoroughly develop a distributed solar generation program to be included in the 2013 IPA Procurement Plan.

    We encourage the ICC to direct the IPA to develop a study identifying and quantifying the grid benefits of distributed solar in Illinois.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Chet Kolodziej
    Executive Director
    Freedom Field Renewable Energy
    Rockford Illinois

    Chester D Kolodziej
  • December 21, 2011

    Earth Wind&Solar Energy is a small company specializing in the design and installation of solar thermal, solar PV, small Wind turbines, and Energy Auditing. In addition to representing my company I also speak for a number of my clients. These clients include Architects, Illinois rate payers, and solar investors who would like to see Illinois become a greener, more sustainable state. I also would like to continue hiring and growing our company to meet the hopeful expansion of the solar industry. I believe there are a number of things that are needed to do this and one is for the ICC directing the IPA to hold workshops to thoroughly develop a distributed solar generation program to be included in the 2013 IPA Procurement Plan.

    We also encourage the ICC to also direct the IPA to develop a study identifying and quantifying the grid benefits of distributed solar in Illinois.

    I believe through this program and others like it, not only can my company but many others can survive and thrive and continue to hire more people. In addition Illinois can perhaps once again show the rest of the country and the world how we as a State can be a leader in sustainability, and transparency. To be forward thinking and make decisions that don't just satisfy the big guys but are the right decisions that help out the small guys and help grow a much needed industry. Help level the playing field and help take back control of our grid and demand a better way of life.

    John Caravette
  • December 21, 2011

    I have been very encouraged by seeing solar panels providing energy to heat water and light buildings right here in Chicago, at UnCommon Ground Restaurant on Devon in Edgewater and at Inspiration Kitchen on Lake Street in Garfield Park. Riding the Red Line downtown, I am thrilled to see rooftop solar on multiunit housing and businesses. By using renewable energy sources such as solar to reduce dependency on oil and nuclear energy, we can create jobs here in Illinois while reducing the amount of power plant pollutants that now fouling our air, water, and land resources and endangering public health. Please enable Illinois residents like me the opportunity to use distributed solar energy sources to power our homes, schools, places of worship, and businesses.

    Distributed solar energy sources, like those from rooftops, will not only provide clean, renewable energy to my community but create good stable jobs for Illinois workers and benefit our grid. Supplying my power from distributed solar systems across the state will transform Illinois into a leader in local clean energy production, powering us to a cleaner, more prosperous future, attracting entrepreneurs and investors, as well as people interested in sustainable living. Please explore the benefits of a distributed solar generation program through an inclusive and transparent workshop process.

    Thank you for working to ensure our power supply, and for considering the advantages distributed solar provides to the grid and to Illinois energy consumers like me. I am a major fan of the Solar Electric Light Fund (www.SELF.org), an organization doing much good in around the world in places like Haiti and Benin, West Africa, using solar panels to power schools, clinics, and homes, and solar drip irrigation systems for market gardens. If so much is being done in some of the most impoverished regions of the globe, why cannot we become leaders here in Illinois in the use of distributed solar energy? Please research and include distributed solar power in our power mix, so Illinoisans can move toward a better, clean energy future.

    Susan D. Lannin
  • December 21, 2011

    Please consider distributive solar power in the mix. We have so much solar potential in our state it is a shame it goes to waste. Lets make Illinois a solar power leader. Its the power of the future.

    thank you,
    Michael Kearney

    Michael Kearney
  • December 21, 2011

    We were one of the first households in Carol Stream to install a solar hot water system. Now that photovoltaic technology is becoming more and more accessable, we see the potential for Illinois to go forward for homeowners to contribute more and more safe renewable solar electricity from our rooftops to the energy mix.

    I am writing to urge you to take advantage of a tremendous opportunity to create jobs and reduce air pollution by using distributed solar energy sources to power my home.

    Distributed solar energy sources, like those from rooftops, will not only provide clean, renewable energy to my community but create good stable jobs for Illinois workers and can have benefits for our grid. Supplying my power from distributed solar systems across the state will make Illinois a leader in local clean energy production, powering us to a cleaner, more prosperous future. I respectfully encourage you to look further at the benefits of a distributed solar generation program through an inclusive and transparent workshop process.

    Thank you for the work you do to ensure our power supply, and for considering the advantages distributed solar provides to the grid and to Illinois energy consumers like me. By studying and including distributed solar power in our power mix, we can take another big step to a better, clean energy future.

    Janet Smith
  • December 21, 2011

    As an Illinois power consumer, I am writing to urge you to take advantage of a tremendous opportunity to create jobs and reduce air pollution by using distributed solar energy sources to power my home.

    Distributed solar energy sources, like those from rooftops, will not only provide clean, renewable energy to my community but create good stable jobs for Illinois workers and can have benefits for our grid. Supplying my power from distributed solar systems across the state will make Illinois a leader in local clean energy production, powering us to a cleaner, more prosperous future. I respectfully encourage you to look further at the benefits of a distributed solar generation program through an inclusive and transparent workshop process.

    Thank you for the work you do to ensure our power supply, and for considering the advantages distributed solar provides to the grid and to Illinois energy consumers like me. By studying and including distributed solar power in our power mix, we can take another big step to a better, clean energy future.

    Elmhurst is considering electric aggregation on it's March 20th referendum. The Elmhurst Cool Cities Coalition is working to help get the referendum passed so that our city will be able to request a bid for 100% renewable energy. We would like to follow in Oak Park's footsteps to buy 100% renewable energy via aggregation. Please help ensure that there will be enough renewable energy for us to purchase at rates comparable to or better than dirty, "brown" energy.

    Sincerely,

    Lisa Gerhold
    Elmhurst, IL

    Lisa Gerhold
  • December 21, 2011

    As an Illinois power consumer, I am writing to urge you to take advantage of a tremendous opportunity to create jobs and reduce air pollution by using distributed solar energy sources to power my home.

    Distributed solar energy sources, like those from rooftops, will not only provide clean, renewable energy to my community but create good stable jobs for Illinois workers and can have benefits for our grid. Supplying my power from distributed solar systems across the state will make Illinois a leader in local clean energy production, powering us to a cleaner, more prosperous future. I respectfully encourage you to look further at the benefits of a distributed solar generation program through an inclusive and transparent workshop process.

    Thank you for the work you do to ensure our power supply, and for considering the advantages distributed solar provides to the grid and to Illinois energy consumers like me. By studying and including distributed solar power in our power mix, we can take another big step to a better, clean energy future.

    Keelie Witzel
  • December 21, 2011

    As an Illinois power consumer, I am writing to urge you to take advantage of a tremendous opportunity to create jobs and reduce air pollution by using distributed solar energy sources to power my home.

    Distributed solar energy sources, like those from rooftops, will not only provide clean, renewable energy to my community but create good stable jobs for Illinois workers and can have benefits for our grid. Supplying my power from distributed solar systems across the state will make Illinois a leader in local clean energy production, powering us to a cleaner, more prosperous future. I respectfully encourage you to look further at the benefits of a distributed solar generation program through an inclusive and transparent workshop process.

    Thank you for the work you do to ensure our power supply, and for considering the advantages distributed solar provides to the grid and to Illinois energy consumers like me. By studying and including distributed solar power in our power mix, we can take another big step to a better, clean energy future.

    Per Ellingson
  • December 21, 2011

    As an Illinois power consumer, I am writing to urge you to take advantage of a tremendous opportunity to create jobs and reduce air pollution by using distributed solar energy sources to power my home.

    Distributed solar energy sources, like those from rooftops, will not only provide clean, renewable energy to my community but create good stable jobs for Illinois workers and can have benefits for our grid. Supplying my power from distributed solar systems across the state will make Illinois a leader in local clean energy production, powering us to a cleaner, more prosperous future. I respectfully encourage you to look further at the benefits of a distributed solar generation program through an inclusive and transparent workshop process.

    Thank you for the work you do to ensure our power supply, and for considering the advantages distributed solar provides to the grid and to Illinois energy consumers like me. By studying and including distributed solar power in our power mix, we can take another big step to a better, clean energy future.

    I am a strong supporter of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) and was part of a group that succeeded in getting Glen Carbon to put aggregation on the referendum in March.

    Chris Krusa

    Christopher E. Krusa
  • December 21, 2011

    I am submitting comments as an electricity consumer and volunteer with Cool Cities, an initiative working on local solutions to climate change through municipal action.

    I support purchasing distributed solar power as a way of increasing renewable energy resources in Illinois, diversifying energy sources, reducing air pollution and creating jobs.

    Supplying my power from distributed solar systems across the state will make Illinois a leader in local clean energy production, powering us to a cleaner, more prosperous future. I respectfully encourage you to look further at the benefits of a distributed solar generation program through an inclusive and transparent workshop process.

    Thank you for the work you do to ensure our power supply, and for considering the advantages distributed solar provides to the grid and to Illinois energy consumers like me. By studying and including distributed solar power in our power mix, we can take another big step to a better clean energy future.

    Sincerely,
    Lonnie Morris

    Lonnie Morris
  • December 21, 2011

    As an Illinois power consumer, I am writing to urge you to take advantage of a tremendous opportunity to create jobs and reduce air pollution by using distributed solar energy sources to power my home.
    Distributed solar energy sources, like those from rooftops, will not only provide clean, renewable energy to my community but create good stable jobs for Illinois workers and can have benefits for our grid. Supplying my power from distributed solar systems across the state will make Illinois a leader in local clean energy production, powering us to a cleaner, more prosperous future. I respectfully encourage you to look further at the benefits of a distributed solar generation program through an inclusive and transparent workshop process.
    Thank you for the work you do to ensure our power supply, and for considering the advantages distributed solar provides to the grid and to Illinois energy consumers like me. By studying and including distributed solar power in our power mix, we can take another big step to a better, clean energy future.

    Joseph Tauer
  • December 21, 2011

    As an Illinois electric rate payer, solar energy consultant, and graduate of Illinois State University's Renewable Energy Program, I support the ICC directing IPA to develop a Distributed SREC Procurement Plan for Illinois. My personal and professional goals are rooted in the continued progression of distributed solar generation throughout the State.

    It is disappointing that a distributed solar generation procurement program has not already been developed by IPA; however, I am in full support of continuing the efforts to develop such a program through a series of workshops. The workshops will only be successful if electric utilities demonstrate a commitment to the process and IPA carries out the workshops with transparency and inclusiveness. Furthermore, electric utilities need to pay retail rate for distributed generation in the interim as the workshops proceed. This is a fair rate and such a commitment will bring electric utilities more forcefully into the workshop process.

    Additionally, and beginning as soon as possible, IPA needs to conduct a study to identify and quantify the effects of distributed solar generation on the wider grid system. This is a necessary step toward transparency as well as education of lawmakers and the general public.

    Shannon Fulton
  • December 21, 2011

    I represent a solar company looking to grow in Illinois. My company is interested in this case and supports the ICC directing the IPA to hold workshops to thoroughly develop a distributed solar generation program to be included in the 2013 IPA procurement Plan. These feature of the workshop should be transparent and inclusive.
    I encourage the ICC to direct the IPA to develop a study identifying and quantifying the grid benefits of distributed solar in Illinois.

    DOUG SNOWER
  • December 21, 2011

    As a small PV Generator %040 w System I believe it should be a requirement of the state to insure all power sold in any municipality in this State be from at the very least 20 or 30 % renewable energy. I base this by the observation i made concidering the City of Austen TX, where the city is powered by 100% renewable energy Thank you for reading this.. Bill Lorch
    William Lorch
  • December 21, 2011

    Looking forward to you approving the above Procurement Plan, it took a long time but better late than never.
    dan litvin
  • December 21, 2011

    My name is Peter Gorr and I live in Palatine IL. In 2011 I converted my home to Solar PV generated electricity. I did this because I feel the benefits of homeowners and small businesses installing Solar Distributed Generation energy systems are too numerous to ignore and should be part of a comprehensive energy portfolio in Illinois.
    Specifically:
    • Generating electricity as close to the point of use is the most efficient
    • Distributed generation of electricity increases our overall security regarding electricity in that it is less centralized and therefore less susceptible to widespread outage
    • Distributed Solar Systems generate energy at times that are during peak demand thus reducing peak power requirements
    • Distributed Solar Systems diminish the use of land and right of way acquisition costs.
    • Small distributed solar systems create a new energy market that can only be served by local small businesses. This is the best kind of economic stimulus. It is long term and sustainable. It creates new Illinois jobs in the sale and installation of systems and if demand is great enough, may attract additional manufacturing to the state.
    • Renewable solar energy systems offer a path to lower energy costs as more systems are installed. It is basic economics that higher demand generates the need for greater supply which results in lower costs. Traditional energy sources are forecasted to only increase in price using the same principle and generate many negative externalities relating to waste and health costs. These do not exist with Solar and wind generation. Taking all costs into consideration, the cost-benefit ratio favors renewable systems and so their use should be encouraged and supported.
    • Distributed Generation allow individuals and businesses to control more of their behavior which should be encouraged in a true Energy Free Market rather than inhibited or worse prohibited.
    • Distributed renewable systems should be a part of any comprehensive Clean energy strategy to address the well documented negative effects of continued fossil fuel use.
    In conclusion, I support the ICC holding workshops to develop a solar distributed generation program. These workshops should be open, inclusive, and fair.

    Peter Gorr
  • December 21, 2011

    As a prospective solar developer, we would be interested in seeing a robust SREC procurement plan for Distributed Generation; it would afford smaller developers like ourselves to compete in the market place and find energy off-takers, other than the utilities, to purchase our deployed solar.
    Paul Goodman
  • December 21, 2011

    To: Illinois Commerce Commissioners

    As Managing Partner of Solar Universe: Central Illinois, a solar integrator and local business based in Springfield, I would like to take time to comment on the IPA Procurement Plan for Distributed Solar Procurement Program in Proposed Order 11-0660. Our interest in this case is to support the ICC’s direction to the IPA to hold workshops from on a distributed solar procurement plan in 2012 and to support the IPA plan to introduce this program in its 2013 procurement proposal. Additionally, our interest in this case is encouraging the State of Illinois and its utilities to support its citizens by having similar opportunities for incentives as our neighboring states in Missouri and Indiana. We will push for developing a cohesive, consistent distributed generation strategy and incentive program that would help the IPA meet its RPS goals of 6% of electricity purchased come from solar sources by 2025.

    Our locally owned company began operations this year with big plans to bring affordable solar energy solutions to homeowners, businesses and agricultural operations. Just this year, we have grown from two staff people to six and anticipate adding future staff in the second quarter of 2012. These are good paying sales, administrative and installation jobs that were not available in Springfield just a few months ago. Additionally, our installations provide temporary work for local independent contractors, electrical union members and other engineering and architectural partners. The sum of our impact in the Springfield area alone has been well over $300,000 in just under six months of operations.

    Solar energy is supported by over 90% of the public according to several well-published surveys. The IPA’s plan to hold workshops to help meet this demand by procuring electrical generation from multiple distributed sources should recognize the public’s interest by being transparent, inclusive and open to the public. Workshops should be held in all regions of the state to recognize and encourage solar energy’s potential in rural, urban and suburban settings. Additionally, workshops must allow for participation by all aspects of the solar industry – installers, designers, architects, customers, utilities, investors, business leaders, and government officials. Cities and states that have introduced innovative incentive programs and procurement plans should be invited and have an opportunity to present and explain their successes to the workshop participants. Colorado’s solar gardens, aggregated metering for multi-unit facilities, and community solar programs run through governmental and non-profit organizations which assist the underprivileged in learning job skills and reducing their energy bills are all options which should be considered during this process.

    With any distributed generation program, part of the benefit accrues to the utilities who support individuals and businesses in creating their own electricity and providing to stabilize and improve the overall grid. The ICC should direct the IPA to study these benefits and quantify the long term positive impact of distributed generation with solar on the Illinois electric grid. We support a thorough, quantitative study of distributed solar and its affect on electric cooperatives, municipal electric utilities and investor owned utilities as well.

    These workshops offer an opportunity to encourage an industry in Illinois that has consistently grown by 100% year over year in installations from 2010 to 2011 (78 Mw to 158 Mw) and increased job growth in the US (17,000 new jobs in 2011). It is a technology which has been proven in over 50 years of installations and has consistently reduced its pricing over the last 20 years. The benefits of solar for Illinois are: a reduced dependence on traditional sources of energy providing better air for our breathing, an energy that continues to improve efficiency annually, and a one that improves not only the economy of the individual who purchases the system, but the utility which supports the industry’s growth.

    Solar Universe is a unique solar installation and finance concept headquartered in Northern California with a mission to be the very best at what we do. We are the sum of a network of owner-operated install partners where Quality, Safety, Service and Consistency are guiding principles. These principles support our service oriented approach to enabling you to produce power on your home or business. In short, we make solar an easy, affordable and fun experience. Just ask our members!

    We stand ready to attend, speak and promote solar through this workshop effort by the IPA and to meet the demand for solar power in Illinois with innovative financing options, tremendous products and personalized service. Thanks for this opportunity.

    Robert L. Newbold
  • December 21, 2011

    I am the owner of a renewable energy systems installation company located 60 miles southwest of Chicago.
    We firmly support the ICC in directing the IPA to hold workshops that will help develope a distributed solar energy generation program to be included in the 2013 IPA Procurement Plan. Please consider the ICC's idea to conduct a study to quantify the benefits of distributed solar.
    No one can deny that Illinois needs an economic boost. Developing sound solar programs will not only help the environment & the grid, it will also provide much needed jobs and tax revenue right here at home.

    Thank you for your consideration
    Norm Johnson
    Independence Renewable Energy

    Norman
  • December 21, 2011

    I'm a renewable energy developer. I'm presently building what I believe to be the second largest solar PV system in Illinois in Arcola, IL 630kW system that will be operational by the end of the month. This project became viable only because of a City TIF grant.

    I also have several small project that are viable because of the state grants but no one feels that this is a significant contribution due to limited state funding. I have also installed the largest system in MI because of a favorable Feed-In Tariff.

    I'm forced to work elsewhere in the county. I'm doing work in PA, NC, MA, NJ and CA right now. I would like to do more in the midwest but don't expect that will be viable without stabilizing the relationship between generators and the power companies.

    I read this procurement plan and I don't see any commitment to purchase power, only a commitment to have meetings. I would recommend that you include some provision for purchasing the power at retail rate (or at an elevated rate) for 2012 and adjust the agreements for 2013. This will give you some strength to force the power companies to come to the table make real permanent changes.

    Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

    Rob

    Robert Rafson, P.E.
  • December 21, 2011

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Thank you for providing the opportunity to submit comments on the IPA’s Distributed SREC Procurement Plan. Please accept these comments on behalf of SoCore Energy.

    SoCore Energy LLC is a commercial rooftop solar energy developer based in Chicago, IL. We work with commercial customers nationwide to provide distributed, rooftop PV solutions; these customers benefit from hedging their electricity costs while the broader electrical grid benefits from reduced strain on demand and distribution.

    The Renewable Portfolio Standard in Illinois is one of the most aggressive standards in the United States. If fully and strategically implemented, this policy could be an engine for job growth and economic development in Illinois. SoCore would like nothing more than to assist in the proliferation of solar in its own backyard and to be a reason for dramatic job growth here in Illinois. However, in the past three years we have completed only 6 projects in Illinois representing less than 10% of our total business. Facilitating the purchase of SRECs from distributed sources would allow SoCore to achieve the growth in Illinois that we strive for. The procurement of Distributed Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) in the upcoming (and future) IPA procurement presents the opportunity to ensure that Illinois benefits from the jobs created from the local installation of solar power projects and that the electric grid receives the benefits of distributed solar.

    Distributed solar has certain advantages over other forms of solar energy (as well as other forms of traditional energy). For instance, the distributed nature reduces the need for improvements and upgrades to the transmission and distribution infrastructure, and can even alleviate some of the strain by generating power close to load. Secondly, distributed solar reduces exposure for blackouts and brownouts from a single event by diversifying the generation assets. SoCore encourages the ICC and IPP to undertake a study to more fully understand and quantify the benefits of distributed solar for the grid in Illinois.

    SoCore expresses our gratitude and support to the ICC for encouraging the IPA to hold workshops to determine the most efficient way to procure distributed SRECs. We would like to encourage the ICC and IPA to make this a fully transparent process to ensure the best ideas are incorporated into the procurement to maximize the benefits to all stakeholders. The benefits from holding workshops ensure that all voices are heard.

    Thank you for the opportunity to submit these comments.

    Greg Buzzell
  • December 21, 2011

    In addition to my previous...
    We have customer asking about SREC all the time. I would really like to have something tangible to offer them.
    Thanks again,
    Mark

    Mark Cunningham
  • December 21, 2011

    Hello,
    I encourage the ICC to direct the IPA to develop a transparent, inclusive program of workshops to discuss the formation of an SREC market in Illinois. The market should include opportunities for small distributed electric entities to participate. I further encourage the ICC to develop a study to identify and quantify the benefits of including distributed solar and wind (small producers of wind and solar generated electric power) in Illinois to the grid as a whole. I believe the addition of SREC based added value to products and services we provide our customers will bring in new customers with diverse motivations and interests and provide us, as a vendor, with more to offer a wider range of potential customers.
    Thank you for your time,
    Mark Cunningham
    Sales and Marketing
    WinSol Power Company
    Glenview, Illinois

    Mark Cunningham
  • December 21, 2011


    Hello,

    I am Ron Cowgill from WinSol Power Company Inc. and we install solar and wind systems on homes and businesses. We have been in business for a little over a year. In that time we have found that incentive programs really help sell our projects. About one in three of the people we speak with ask about SREC programs and how to get into them. Because Illinois does not offer a solar or wind incentive program, the SREC program will have a larger impact than other states with an incentive program.

    There are programs up and running in other states to model our program after. Please direct the IPA to develop a study identifying and quantifying the grid benefits of distributed solar in Illinois.

    Having an SREC program in Illinois would help companies sell systems, creating jobs, impacting property values in a positive way and would help property owners stabilize their utility bills with a renewable energy source.

    Thanks, Ron

    Ron Cowgill
  • December 21, 2011

    I am an Illinois citizen, a renewable energy enthusiast, and a member of the Illinois Solar Energy Association. I am also a participant in the ComEd Residential Real Time Pricing and Net Metering Programs, with a 4.14 kW PV grid-tied array installed and producing power on the roof of my home.

    I think that it is vitally important for the State, the Country, and, indeed, the world, that we take all available steps to reduce our dependence on non-renewable sources of power and to move power production nearer to the places where it is consumed. To that end, I wish to support the ICC in its call to the IPA to hold workshops to discuss and publicise its development of a distributed solar program to be included in its 2013 Procurement Plan. These workshops should be widely publicised (i.e. not just to energy insiders) and scheduled to take place at times and locations calculated to encourage wider public involvement - not just on weekday mornings in downtown Chicago.

    I think that the ICC should require that the ICC particularly focus on the potential for distributed solar power production to reduce summertime peaks in power requirements and distribution loads, in terms of these contributions being properly recognised in tariff development.

    Old-style, polluting, power sources have received substantial subsidies from State and Federal governments in the past. While we may not be able to afford similar subsidies for renewable energy sources now, we should at least do our best to ensure that we avoid discouraging our citizens from embracing renewable energy.

    Peter R. Fletcher
Entries: 37