Illinois Representative Introduces Bill for Advanced Renewable Tariffs

By Paul Gipe


Representative Karen May (D-58 District) introduced a bill on February 15, 2008 calling for a system of Advanced Renewable Tariffs like those used in Germany to spur development of solar and wind energy.

HB 5855, the Illinois Renewable Energy Sources Act, was introduced by Representative May into Illinois’ 95th General Assembly. The bill has been reported to the Rules Committee.

May’s bill, patterned after Germany’s successful Renewable Energy Sources Act, is the second such bill introduced into a state legislature in the United States. Representative Kathleen Law introduced HB 5218 into the Michigan House of Representatives September 17, 2007.

As in Michigan’s HB 5218, Representative May’s bill would create a full system of feed-in tariffs with prices for an array of renewable energy technologies. Currently, the only true feed-in tariff system in North America is the limited program offered in Ontario, Canada that pays $0.11 CAD/kWh for wind, hydro, and biomass, and $0.42/kWh for solar photovoltaic generation.

Several other jurisdictions are considering bills calling for Advanced Renewable Tariffs or simpler feed-in tariffs. Two feed-in tariff bills have introduced into the California State Assembly. AB 1920 amends California policy on net metering, and AB 1807 implements recommendations by the California Energy Commission for feed-in tariffs for projects less than 20 MW.

Representative David Bly is expected to introduce a comprehensive feed-in tariff proposal into the Minnesota House of Representatives sometime this month. When introduced, three Midwestern states (Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota) will have feed-in tariff bills on their legislative calendars.

The tariffs proposed in HB 5855 are equivalent to those in Germany and match those proposed in Michigan.


  • Hydro less than 500 kW: $0.10 USD/kWh
  • Biogas less than 150 kW: $0.145 USD/kWh
  • Geothermal less than 5 MW: $0.19 USD/kWh
  • Wind: $0.105 USD/kWh
  • Wind energy from small wind turbines: $0.25 USD/kWh
  • Rooftop solar less than 30 kW: $0.65 USD/kWh
  • Solar façade cladding less than 30 kW: $0.71 USD/kWh

HB 5855 also proposes wind tariffs differentiated by wind resource intensity as is used in France. These differentiated tariffs limit potentially excessive profit from commercial wind farms at windy sites while allowing profitable development in less windy areas. This is important in a state like Illinois where state farmers can profitably develop their own wind resources.

Before becoming law, the bill must pass both the House and Senate and must be signed by Governor Rod R. Blagojevich (D).

HB 5855 Full Text

HB 5855 Bill Status