First Illinois ‘Solar for All’ projects approved
Oct 7, 2019 09:43 PM ET
The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approved the contracts for its first projects participating in the Illinois Solar for All (ILSFA) program. For the initial 2018-2019 program year, five projects were approved for the Low-Income Community Solar sub-program, providing over $11 million in incentives and over 4,000 kW in system capacity, and seven projects were approved for the Non-Profit/Public Facilities sub-program, providing over $2 million in incentives and over 1,300 kW in system capacity. The incentives, in the form of payments for Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) through a 15-year contract, will offset project costs and allow developers and contractors, called Approved Vendors, to pass savings along to participating low-income households and the organizations that serve them. The selection process for Low-Income Community Solar projects was highly competitive due to the high volume of projects submitted and limited funding available. In that sub-program, projects were selected based on defined scoring criteria.
ILSFA, which was created by the Future Energy Jobs Act, provides incentives for solar development for low-income and environmental justice communities and requires that participants see measurable savings on their energy bills. The program aims to promote equitable access to the economic and environmental benefits of the solar economy in communities across the state by removing barriers to solar energy and including provisions for job creation and workforce development.
“Today’s approval by the ICC of the contracts for the first Illinois Solar for All projects is a major milestone for the program. Low-income consumers and non-profit organizations can face challenges participating in the growing solar economy in Illinois and I am pleased that we are taking steps to reduce those barriers,” said Illinois Power Agency director Anthony Star.
Following the ICC’s approval of contracts, the Approved Vendors responsible for each project will execute REC incentive contracts and undertake development on their respective projects. The next ILSFA program year (2019-2020) is underway, with another round of project applications currently under review. ILSFA is currently accepting project applications from Approved Vendors for the Low-Income Distributed Generation sub-program (for low-income single and multifamily homes). In addition, ILSFA will be accepting additional applications for non-profit and public facility projects beginning later in October and will conduct a low-income community solar pilot project procurement (based on competitive price-based bids) later this year.
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