On May 15, the Illinois Solar for All Program, administered by Elevate Energy, will start accepting submissions for projects that can get renewable energy credit (REC) funding. When the Adjustable Block Program opened for project submissions on January 31, 2019, it was overwhelmed by applications, forcing the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) to use a lottery to select recipients of large rooftop and community solar REC contracts.
While there will likely be similar demand during this submission window, submissions may be down because Solar for All projects have additional requirements like demonstrating how projects will extend benefits to environmental justice (EJ) and low-income communities. However, budgetary constraints almost certainly dictate that submissions may still outweigh the level that the program can accommodate right away.
Unlike the Adjustable Block Program, Solar for All will depend on a project selection protocol rather than a lottery, if there are more eligible projects submitted than can be funded. If this occurs, projects will be evaluated after a 30-day submission window. Elevate and IPA will first evaluate projects serving EJ communities, with 25 percent of total program funds reserved for these projects. Any projects not selected move to the next rounds.
Within each round (EJ, low-income, general), projects are awarded points according to a variety of criteria (utility service territory, capacity, characteristics of owners/subscribers). Projects are selected by groups of points on order of highest to lowest points. Created under the Future Energy Jobs Act, Illinois Solar for All Program aims to promote equitable access to the solar economy, including the jobs it creates, in both urban and rural communities across Illinois.