Illinois Commerce Commission Conference on Sustainable Energy

            The Electric Policy Committee of the Illinois Commerce Commission met May 11 to hear electric utility proposals for implementing a sustainable energy plan in the Land of Lincoln.  The proposals were developed in response to Governor Rod Blagojevich's "Sustainable Energy Plan," a proposal submitted last February to the Commission.  The Governor asked the Commission to find a way to implement the Plan, which includes a set of goals and recommendations.  Commissioner Robert Lieberman leads the initiative to develop the plan, which is expected to be issued in final form in June.  

The Governor's Sustainable Energy Plan drew on the recommendations of various stakeholders, including electric utility companies, environmental organizations, and consumer groups.  It also incorporated some of the recommendations from the Illinois Energy Task Force I appointed following the August 2003 blackout that crippled much of the rust belt extending to New York.  The Plan included a Renewable Portfolio Standard involving procurement requirements for electric utilities, eligibility criteria for resources that can be used to meet those requirements, cost recovery provisions, energy trading options and compliance measures.  The Plan also included an Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard with similar features.  To facilitate discussions on the Plan's goals, Lieberman divided the issues among two working groups, the Renewable Portfolio Standard ("RPS") Working Group and the Demand Response/Energy Efficiency ("DR/EE") Working Group.  

At the May 11 meeting, the Commission heard Utility Implementation Plans from Commonwealth Edison and Ameren, presentations on regional transmission issues from the PJM Interconnection and Midwest ISO, and presentations on renewable energy credit trading.  The Commission staff will report to the full Commission on the Plan and implementation options by June 7.  Further developments may be expected soon, as Illinois moves to join the growing number of states that have established renewable energy requirements.   [NEW MATTER]