Power Pulse!

A quarterly newsletter featuring the latest news and information

from the Illinois Power Agency.

Our vision is to provide a clean, reliable, equitable, and cost-effective

energy future for residents and businesses across Illinois.

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IPA Files 2024 Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan with ICC

Illinois Solar for All Wins Sunny Awards Grand Prize for Equitable Community Solar

The Illinois Power Agency’s Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (Long-Term Plan), which details the goals and strategies for renewable energy programs and procurements across the upcoming two years, was filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) for approval on October 20, 2023.

The draft 2024 Long-Term Plan was released for public comment on August 15, 2023 with a September 29, 2023 deadline for comment submission. The Agency received a total of 34 sets of comments. Commenters included a variety of stakeholders, including solar companies, Equity Eligible Contractors, labor organizations, environmental advocacy groups, utilities, and industry associations.

The 2024 Long-Term Plan contains several novel proposals, including the following:

  • A suite of solutions to address persistent oversubscription of the Group A Large Distributed Generation and Small Distributed Generation program categories. 
  •  Seeking express authority to deposit any federal Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund funding received into the Renewable Energy Resources Fund to support Illinois Solar for All Program growth.   
  • Establishment of a Solar Restitution Fund to provide economic assistance to customers harmed through solar project transactions.
  •  A workshop process for determining the viability of downstream negotiations of Indexed REC contracts used to support utility-scale wind, utility-scale solar, and brownfield site photovoltaic projects.

Parties seeking changes to the Plan have 14 days to file objections with the ICC. The Commission has 120 days for its review and approval of the Plan.

To access the Plan, or for more information, visit the Plans Under Development page of the IPA website.  

IPA Policy Study Update

On December 8, 2023, Governor Pritzker signed Senate Bill 1699 into law as Public Act 103-0580

Public Act 103-0580 requires the IPA to conduct a Policy Study to evaluate the potential impacts of three proposals made during the Illinois General Assembly’s Spring 2023 Legislative Session and provide policy recommendations back to the General Assembly. The provisions of Public Act 103-0580 related to the Policy Study are the same as those contained in House Bill 3445 (HB 3445), which the General Assembly passed on May 26, 2023. 

The following proposals are the subject of the IPA Policy Study:


  •  Senate Bill 1587 would require the Agency to develop a storage procurement plan that would result in electric utilities contracting for energy storage credits from contracted energy storage systems.
  •  House Bill 2132 would require the Agency to develop a procurement process to “procure at least 700,000 renewable energy credits, delivered annually for at least 20 years, from one new utility-scale offshore wind project [in Lake Michigan].”
  • A policy requiring the Agency to procure HVDC renewable energy credits related to an HVDC line, which the Agency understands to be the Soo Green Line.

As the Agency previously determined to proceed with the Policy Study regardless of the final status of HB 3445, enactment of SB 1699 into law does not change the Agency’s plans.

The IPA will publish a draft of the Policy Study by January 22, 2024 for public comment and will publish a final Study no later than March 1, 2024.

In November, the IPA’s income-eligible solar incentive program, Illinois Solar for All (ILSFA), was named as one of five Grand Prize winners of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) American-Made 2023 Sunny Awards. The DOE’s National Community Solar Partnership selected five teams to receive a $10,000 Grand Prize for their community solar projects or programs. ILSFA was the only state program winner of a Grand Prize Sunny Award this year. 

Inaugurated by the DOE in 2022, the Sunny Awards recognizes community solar projects and programs that employ or develop best practices to increase equitable access to the meaningful benefits of community solar for limited- and middle-income residential subscribers and their communities.

ILSFA won a 2023 Grand Prize for serving as a model for community solar programs that increase low-to-moderate-income households’ access to community solar subscriptions while providing electricity bill savings. ILSFA’s programmatic best practices and meaningful benefits include:


  • Income-eligible community solar subscribers pay no upfront subscription fees and receive at least 50% of the monetary value generated from a subscriber’s share of the system with the community solar project. 
  • Residential households with incomes at 80% or less of area median income qualify for program incentives.  
  • ILSFA empowers income-eligible households and community organizations to both own and manage solar generating facilities. 
  • ILSFA promotes job opportunities in marginalized communities by requiring solar companies participating in the program to hire trainees from qualified job training programs. Foster care alumni, individuals with records, and those who reside in environmental justice and income-eligible communities are especially encouraged to participate in job training programs.
  • ILSFA engages income-eligible communities’ feedback, including community outreach, education, and recruitment when designing community solar projects.

To learn more, read the IPA press release.

ICC Approves the IPA's 2024 Electricity Procurement Plan

On December 14, 2023, the ICC approved the IPA’s 2024 Electricity Procurement Plan, which serves as the Agency’s roadmap for meeting the electricity supply needs of residential and small commercial customers taking fixed price service from Illinois electric utilities.


For more information, please see the ICC’s Final Order. The 2024 Electricity Procurement Plan will be published on the IPA’s Current Approved Plans webpage in early 2024.

ICC Approves Fall 2023 Indexed REC Procurement Results

On December 14, 2023, the ICC approved the results of the IPA’s Fall 2023 Indexed REC Procurement used to support the development of new utility-scale solar, utility-scale wind, and brownfield site photovoltaic projects.


Under the Fall 2023 Indexed REC Procurement, REC delivery contracts were awarded to support the development of over 1000 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy projects: two new utility-scale wind projects (500 MW), seven new utility-scale solar projects (569.75 MW) and one new brownfield site photovoltaic project (20 MW). The schedule for the IPA’s next Indexed REC procurement events will be determined through the IPA’s 2024 Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan.  

New Grassroots Educators Join Illinois Solar for All

On November 3, 2023, Elevate Energy (the ILSFA Program Administrator) announced the new cohort of Grassroots Educators for the 2023-2024 Program Year. As trusted members of their communities, ILSFA Grassroots Educators engage and enlighten income-eligible and environmental justice residents throughout Illinois in education campaigns about the benefits of the Illinois Solar for All program. The following organizations were selected to serve as ILSFA Grassroots Educators for 2023-2024 program year:

  • A Just Harvest and Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization (PERRO)
  • Citizens Utility Board (CUB) Consumer Education and Research Fund
  • Community Action Partnership of Lake County
  • Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI)
  • Ecology Action Center
  • Faith In Place
  • Garfield Park Community Council
  • Imani Works
  • Kenwood Oakland Community Organization
  • Party Per Purpose
  • People for Community Recovery (PCR)
  • Plant Chicago

ILSFA Grassroots Educators are rooted locally and are best positioned to create educational campaigns that serve the needs of their communities. To learn more about how community organizations can connect communities with the opportunities provided by ILSFA, visit the Grassroots Education page of ILSFA’s website.

Illinois Solar for All Adds Prevailing Wage Requirements for Community Solar and Non-Profit and Public Facilities

On June 30, 2023, Public Act 103-0188 created new prevailing wage requirements applicable to ILSFA’s Community Solar, Non-Profit and Public Facilities projects. All projects receiving a REC delivery contract through the ILSFA Program after July 3, 2023 are now considered public works and are subject to the requirements of the Prevailing Wage Act, with the exception of Residential Distributed Generation projects. For more information, read the ILSFA announcement on new ILSFA prevailing wage requirements.

IPA Launches Illinois Shines Mentorship Program Pilot, Adding Support for Existing and Prospective Equity Eligible Contractors

On October 23, 2023, the IPA launched a Pilot Mentorship Program supporting existing and prospective Equity Eligible Contractors (EECs) in Illinois Shines.

The first cohort of the Pilot Mentorship Program, launched with the commencement of the first of a planned eight-class series, seeks to increase Program accessibility for EECs to mitigate barriers to Illinois Shines Program entry and success and empower EECs with the tools needed to successfully participate in Illinois Shines. Equity Eligible Contractors were invited to apply to participate in the inaugural Mentorship Program session, which will run between October and December, through public Program announcements and direct outreach, and twelve EECs enrolled. The IPA, along with its Illinois Shines Program Administrator (Energy Solutions), will deliver core Program content, share guidance and best practices on major Program activities and requirements, and facilitate feedback and discussion, to help EEC participants achieve greater success in Illinois Shines.

Following the inaugural cohort, the IPA and its Program Administrator will support additional cohorts of EECs through this mentorship program in 2024. Additionally, the Program will publicly share information in 2024 about upcoming availability for the mentorship program via Program announcements, outreach, and informational forums. To participate in a future cohort of the Mentorship Program, contact the Illinois Shines program at [email protected].

Illinois Solar for All Participant Saves Money on Community Solar

In this video, Delia Perez, ILSFA program participant and resident of the Lawndale neighborhood in Chicago, shares her experience of going solar to save money on her electric bill while also helping the environment.

External Events Featuring IPA Speakers 

IPA Acting Director Delivers Keynote Session

On October 25, IPA Acting Director Brian Granahan delivered a keynote session on the state of energy storage in Illinois at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Storage Program Annual Meeting and Peer Review in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

During the keynote session, Brian outlined the overall energy policy picture in Illinois, including the state’s renewable energy and decarbonization targets established through CEJA, and how smart energy storage policy can help support those initiatives. A key aspect of his keynote session addressed the important work that the IPA is currently conducting through its Policy Study examining energy storage legislative proposals introduced this past Spring. The Policy Study will assess the potential impacts of multiple energy proposals, including proposed energy storage legislation, across the following criteria: 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.

IPA Staff Attends Illinois Regulatory Policy Studies Conference

Across October 10-11, IPA staff attended the Institute for Regulatory Policy Studies (IRPS) Conference in Springfield, Illinois. At the conference, IPA Senior Advisor and Planning and Procurement Bureau Chief Anthony Star presented during two different sessions. His first session, Update on CEJA Implementation, focused on the IPA’s implementation of CEJA’s requirements for programs and procurements. During the session, Anthony highlighted successes and lessons learned in accelerating the clean energy transition.

His second session, Looking to the Future, focused on IPA activities and key initiatives. This session included updates on the 2024 Long-Term Plan, the IPA Policy Study, and the Clean Energy Dashboard project designed to convey the story of renewable energy development through data visualization tools. In addition, Anthony also highlighted current challenges and upcoming policy issues ripe for additional consideration, including energy storage, utility-scale renewable energy development, and the role of nuclear power in meeting clean energy deployment goals in Illinois.

IPA ILSFA Senior Program Manager Speaks at NEUAC Webinar

On October 11, IPA Illinois Solar for All (ILSFA) Senior Program Manager Jennifer Schmidt spoke at The National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition webinar on the topic of equitable access to community solar for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) recipients. In the webinar, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) representatives discussed efforts underway to increase equitable access to community solar. Additionally, Jennifer and a representative from Embarras River Basin Agency (a community action agency based in Illinois) discussed how Illinois is working to coordinate the ILSFA and LIHEAP programs to maximize benefits for households in partnership with DOE to develop a portal connecting LIHEAP participants with ILSFA's community solar program.

IPA Acting Director Speaks on Community Solar Panel in New York City

On October 11, IPA Acting Director Brian Granahan spoke on the Growth Pathways for Accelerating Community Solar panel at the New Project Media DG Development & Finance Forum in New York. Brian discussed Illinois’ trajectory in supporting community solar projects, including changes in how projects are selected within IPA incentive programs and considerations applicable to how state policymakers view supporting the growing community solar marketplace.

IPA Staff Attends Illinois Renewable Energy Conference

Across September 20 and 21, fourteen members of the Illinois Power Agency attended the Illinois Renewable Energy Conference in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, with four IPA employees providing presentations at the conference. IPA Acting Director Brian Granahan spoke on the ‘Energy Policy Panel’ alongside ICC Chairman Doug Scott and DCEO Deputy Director (Energy) Hilary Scott-Ogunrinde. During the panel discussion, panelists provided key highlights on their respective agencies’ implementation of activities under the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA). Brian provided an overview on IPA’s CEJA implementation activities and shared his vision for how the IPA can grow to be a thought leader in the clean energy space in the Midwest.

Additionally, IPA Senior Advisor and Planning and Procurement Bureau Chief Anthony Star presented at the ‘Where Do We Go from Here?’ session. Anthony highlighted successes of Illinois’ robust solar market and pointed out that Illinois is well-positioned in the Midwest to lead an equitable clean energy transition. Anthony’s presentation also highlighted unique challenges on the renewable energy front, as well as how the Agency plans to utilize opportunities to tackle these challenges through policy and legislative work.

Lastly, IPA Chief Strategy and Communications Officer Megha Hamal and Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer Tanvi Shah presented at the ‘Equity Requirements’ session. Megha and Tanvi highlighted the IPA’s work on implementing CEJA’s equity requirements and provided a tour of the Energy Workforce Equity Portal, which is intended to connect clean energy companies with equity eligible job seekers looking for work in the clean energy industry. The conference was attended by clean energy policymakers, industry leaders, contractors, educators, key stakeholders, and students of Illinois State University.

Power Hour Recap

In 2023, the IPA hosted ten Power Hour webinars, which featured a wide range of energy topics, and included various thought leaders. These energy experts represented both national and local organizations and institutions, including the U.S. Department of Energy, Brookings Institution, Illinois State Board of Education, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Great Plains Institute, American Farmland Trust, Climate Jobs Illinois, and Illinois Solar Energy Association, among others.

The 2023 Power Hour webinars featured the following topics:

Archived Power Hour webinars can be found on the IPA Events page. The IPA will resume its 2024 Power Hour webinar series in February.

IPA in the News

WAND-TV (Central Illinois TV station): Illinois Power Agency Wins DOE Award

Energy News Network: Community solar projects seen as key step toward energy justice in Illinois

Chambana Sun: Rep. Marron's Solar Energy Presentation

IPA Employee News

IPA Launches Power People Video

The IPA recently launched its employee focused video, People Power. The video provides an inside look at what makes the IPA unique from other employers, the diverse skillset and experiences of IPA employees, and what motivates them. 

IPA Recent Hires

The IPA is pleased to welcome these recent hires:

  • Alivia Beck, Communications Associate
  • Candice Briggs, Executive Assistant
  • Chandrika Mital, Director of Renewable Energy Finance
  • Christopher Ruiz, Associate Legal Counsel
  • Christopher Thomas, Contract Specialist
  • David Dworkin, Illinois Solar for All Program Associate
  • LaKeisha Sanders, Operations Assistant
  • LaTosha Hudson, Human Resources Associate
  • María Gabriela Ayala, Data Fellow
  • Tori Tartaglia, Communications Associate

The IPA is Hiring!

The IPA’s Fellowship Program is a one-year paid opportunity that provides fellows with an unparalleled opportunity to contribute their skills and talents to the clean energy sector. The following opportunities are now available:


IPA Legal Fellowship


IPA Planning and Procurement Fellowship


To apply for these positions, please visit the IPA Careers page.

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