Community-Driven Community Solar (“CDCS”) – Part II Demonstration of Project Commitments and Permissible Changes

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All Community-Driven Community Solar (“CDCS”) projects submitted during or after the 2022-23 Program Year will be evaluated against the scoring guidelines outlined in Appendix F of the Program Guidebook. At Part II application review, the Program Administrator will request confirmation that any commitments made in the Part I application were fulfilled throughout project development and installation. The Program Administrator will only enforce completion of items proposed in the Part I narrative application and awarded points in the Community Driven Community Solar (“CDCS”) Part I scoring process.

Any changes to commitments made in the Part I application submission which resulted in more favorable scoring (and thus a higher likelihood of contract award) will be considered an event of default under the REC Delivery Contract resulting in the full forfeiture of collateral, with the system unable to be Part II verified.

At Part II application submission, please submit a detailed narrative demonstrating how the Part I scoring commitments have been achieved and include supporting documentation. The Program Administrator may request additional information during the Part II review process. The scoring commitments must be approved by the Program Administrator during the Part II review process, prior to Part II Verification of the project.

Please note: The IPA Act defines “Community” as a social unit in which people come together regularly to effect change; a social unit in which participants are marked by a cooperative spirit, a common purpose, or shared interests or characteristics; or a space understood by its residents to be delineated through geographic boundaries or landmarks. This definition was utilized to assess benefits and award points for all projects, including those submitted in the 2022-23 Program Year.

Approved Vendors must submit proper documentation for each scoring criterion sought based on the following table:

Primary Scoring CriterionWhat should be submitted at Part II
A. Community ownership or community wealth-building through having a minimum of 50% of the ownership of the project held by community residents or non-profit organizations which directly serve the community where the project is located. This would include having members of the community being able to participate in decisions regarding the governance, operation, maintenance, and upgrades of and to the project; and members of that community benefiting from the project through subscriptions to the project.Please detail how the percent ownership claimed in Part I has been achieved and provide supporting documentation. Supporting documentation can include proof of ownership by community residents or non-profit organizations and demonstration of decision-making ability and participation.  

Community subscriptions will be confirmed during the Part II subscriber verification process prior to Part II verification.
B. Additional direct and indirect benefits, beyond project participation as a subscriber, including, but not limited to, economic, environmental, social, cultural, and physical benefits. The application must quantify the value of these benefits and they must represent at least 20% of the REC contract value.

Direct benefits can include, but are not limited to, financial benefits for the owner(s) and subscribers, such as bill savings, revenues from project ownership, tax credits, and the financial value of the project, as well as job creation, direct income, and increased economic activity in the defined geographic community.   Indirect benefits can include, but are not limited to, demonstration of environmental, educational, and cultural benefits.
Please show that the commitments made in Part I were maintained, addressing each commitment and include any contracts, agreements, or supporting documentation.  

Here are examples of supporting documentation:
– For a donation, please provide evidence of donation (per IRS): a bank record or a written communication from the qualified organization containing the name of the organization, the amount, and the date of the contribution. This could be in the form of a receipt or an acknowledgement letter/proof of charitable contribution.
– For subscriber bill savings, please calculate the annual projected bill savings over the 15-year life of the project.
– For increased economic activity (local labor, materials, etc.), please provide contracts/receipts of the work that has already occurred and the planned work that will occur over the life of the contract.
– For local taxes, please provide a copy of the annual tax bill.
– For demonstration of environmental, educational, and cultural benefits, please provide a narrative related to these benefits and include any relevant documentation of such community benefits.  

The total local contributions of the contract value over 15 years must be maintained, but changes to the specific contributions and timelines proposed in the narrative are permitted.  

The Program Administrator may request more information regarding these commitments in the Annual Report.
C. Meaningful involvement in project organization and development by community members, non-profit organizations, or public entities located in or serving the community.

Meaningful involvement in project organization as used herein can mean, but is not limited to, a process that consists of public input, participation and engagement in the program design process, including workshops, webinars, and public comment periods all of which afford stakeholders (those who have an interest or stake in an issue, such as individuals, interest groups, and communities) the opportunity to influence decisions that impact their community.
Please detail the community, non-profit, and or public entity involvement that occurred during project organization and development.  

Please address each commitment stated in Part I and show how it has been completed. Small changes in the involvement of community members, non-profit organizations or public entities stated in Part I are permitted if the overall level of commitment is maintained.
D. Engagement in project operations and management by nonprofit organizations, public entities, or community members.

Engagement as used herein can mean, but is not limited to, continuous community participation and consultation as projects are built, operated, and maintained in a way that affords opportunities for the community to weigh in on and make decisions regarding the project.
Please detail the existing and planned future engagement that will occur throughout the 15-year life of the REC contract.  

Please address each commitment stated in Part I and show how it has been or will be completed. Small changes in the engagement of community members, non-profit organizations or public entities stated in Part I are permitted if the overall level of commitment is maintained.  

The Program Administrator may request more information regarding these commitments in the Annual Report.
E. Whether the project is developed in response to a site-specific RFP developed by community members, or a non-profit organization or public entity located in or serving the community.No explanation or documentation required, as this was verified in Part I application review.  
Secondary Scoring CriterionWhat should be submitted at Part II
A. Projects that are developed in collaboration with or to provide complementary opportunities for the Clean Jobs Workforce Network Program, the Illinois Climate Works Pre-apprenticeship Program, the Returning Residents Clean Jobs Training Program, the Clean Energy Contractor Incubator Program, or the Clean Energy Primes Contractor Accelerator Program.

Complementary opportunities as used herein can mean, but is not limited to utilizing graduates of job training programs in project development; hiring job training graduates permanently for future projects, not just the applicant project; an expansion of the goals of the job training programs to include ‘business training,’ on how to develop a project, get financing, recruit customers, etc.
Please demonstrate how the project has collaborated with or provided complementary opportunities for the Clean Jobs Workforce Network Program, the Illinois Climate Works Pre-apprenticeship Program, the Returning Residents Clean Jobs Training Program, the Clean Energy Contractor Incubator Program, or the Clean Energy Primes Contractor Accelerator Program. If these Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) workforce programs are still in development at the time of Part II submission, please provide an explanation as to why the collaboration/complementary opportunities have not occurred and a written commitment/plan for future collaboration or complementary opportunities over the project’s life.  

The Program Administrator may request more information regarding these commitments in the Annual Report.  
B. Projects that increase the diversity of locations of community solar projects in Illinois, including by locating in urban areas and population centers.No explanation or documentation required, as this was verified in Part I application review.  
C. Projects that are located in Equity Investment Eligible Communities.No explanation or documentation required, as this was verified in Part I application review.  
D. Projects that are not greenfield projects.No explanation or documentation required, as this was verified in Part I application review.
E. Projects that serve only local subscribers.
Local subscribers are subscribers in the same county as the project, or if that project’s county population is below 50,000, then also in adjacent counties.
Please submit subscriber information (as of the energization date) including proof that minimum subscriber commitments have been met (50% of capacity must be subscribed, and all subscribers must be local). Also include the percentage of small subscribers (as a share of total system capacity). This information will be verified during Part II subscriber verification.
F. Projects that have a nameplate capacity that does not exceed 500 kW.No explanation or documentation required, as this was verified in Part I application review.
G. Projects that are developed by an Equity Eligible Contractor.Please demonstrate that all “project development work” (all construction and electrical work on a project, and project-specific site assessment work such as permitting, legal, and other site-specific development work, including work that may have already been undertaken prior to project application) has been completed by the equity eligible contractor (EEC) stated in the Part I application. Non-site specific development functions (such as general sales and marketing activities) will not be considered as project development work.  

Documentation can include an electrical procurement construction (EPC) contract, or other relevant contractual agreements.
H. Projects that otherwise meaningfully advance the goals of providing more direct and tangible connection and benefits to the communities which they serve or in which they operate and increasing the variety of community solar locations, models, and options in Illinois.Please demonstrate via narrative and relevant supporting documentation how the project is working towards the goals of providing more direct and tangible connection and benefits to the communities which they serve, and a plan to continue this work throughout the life of the project.

After Part II Verification

As most of the scoring criteria for CDCS projects will take place during the project development cycle (thus take place across the Part I and Part II application process), there is a limited scope of criteria that the Agency will need to monitor after Part II verification. If applicable, the Program Administrator will seek to monitor some requirements throughout the life of the REC Delivery Contract. The Program Administrator will request updated reporting at the Annual Report each July for such commitments and will also seek to ensure that projects that have made these commitments are in compliance via random project inspections. Failure to uphold these commitments may result in an Event of Default under the REC Contract.

Thank you!    
Illinois Shines Program    
[email protected]