On December 15, 2010, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ILCC) authorized Ameren Illinois Utilities (Ameren) and Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) to enter into long-term contracts involving 37,234,500 megawatt-hours (MWH) of renewable energy over 20 years (1,261,725 MWH per year for ComEd and 600,000 MWH per year for Ameren) for an average price of $55.18/MWH and $50.44/MWH, respectively. The winning bidders are identified in the ILCC’s related press release. General information regarding the Illinois Power Agency’s (IPA) 2010 procurement plan and process is available on the ILCC’s related website.

On December 21, 2010,  the ILCC issued a separate order in which it approved, with modifications, the Illinois Power Agency’s proposed third annual (covering June 2011 through May 2016) power procurement plan1 after a reasonably active proceeding,2 which included numerous interventions and objections.

Notably, the ILCC order does not permit the IPA to procure demand response or energy efficiency as an energy supply resource under the approved plan, although this possible procurement was included in the IPA’s proposed plan.

The IPA’s proposed procurement of one-year renewable energy certificates (RECs) to satisfy required renewable resources was controversial and attracted objections from several intervenors, including Duke Energy, Iberdrola Renewables and Wind on the Wires. Despite such objections, however, the ILCC’s December 21 order permits the procurement of one-year RECs to satisfy renewable resource requirements for the period June 2011 to May 2012. Other controversial matters considered by the ILCC included the required collateral to be posted in connection with forward power contracts, physical or financial contracts and exchange-traded power derivatives.

Long-term renewable resource procurement by the IPA has been a matter of controversy since 2009. In light of this, the ILCC’s December 15 authorizations to Ameren and ComEd for long-term resources under the IPA’s 2010 procurement plan are somewhat surprising.

If you have any questions regarding the subject matter of this Legal Update, please contact Christian F. Binnig at +1 312 701 7079 or J. Paul Forrester at +1 312 701 7366.

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1. The IPA’s original draft procurement plan was issued on August 16, 2010. Following comments received by the IPA, it issued its revised procurement plan on September 29, 2010.
2. Here is the docket for related ILCC proceeding.