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Illinois Passes Renewable Energy Standards for Utilities
Illinois Governot Rod Blagojevich signed a new law last week that requires the state’s electric utilities to draw on renewable energy for 25 percent of their electricity needs by 2025.
As a way to combat higher utility rates, the law also places limits on the cost impacts of the renewable requirement, allowing utilities to fall short of the requirement is the cost impact is too great.
The renewable energy requirement start at 2 percent of the power supply in June 2008 and grows to 10 percent of the power supply in June 2015, then increases 1.5 percent annually until 2025.
The law requires 75 percent of the renewable power to come from wind energy, but also allows solar energy, biomass energy, hydropower that does not involve new construction or significant expansion of dams, and other “alternative sources of environmentally preferable energy.”
The renewable energy requirement applies to electric utilities that serve at least 100,000 customers within the state. It allows those utilities to meet the requirements with renewable energy credits and gives preference first to projects within the state, then to projects in adjacent states, then to projects located elsewhere.
The renewable energy requirement is part of a larger law that establishes the Illinois Power Agency that will help large utilities plan their renewable power procurements while building some of the renewable power facilities needed to meet the requirement.