GEO at Work in Illinois
The Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) has initiated a series of informational meetings with the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) and the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to discuss the value that geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) could offer to the state’s renewable and efficient energy policies. To date, Illinois law does not deem the thermal load avoided by GHPs as renewable, and ICC rules significantly restrict use of the technology as a utility compliance measure under the state’s Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS).
“GHPs were simply left out of the renewable energy definition when the Illinois Power Agency Act was signed into law several years ago,” GEO President Doug Dougherty explained. “After learning more about GHP technologies from GEO, the IPA seems willing to consider an amendment to include them under the Illinois Renewable Portfolio Standard, giving electric utilities another resource for compliance and earning Renewable Energy Credits.” In addition, the ICC is now reviewing their process for determining whether or not GHPs meet the efficiency test for inclusion in the state EEPS.