Each Program Year, Illinois Shines is able to provide incentives for a capped amount of solar project capacity for specific project categories. The capacity for Large Distributed Generation (on-site) solar projects—those over 25 kW AC—in Group A has been fully depleted for the Program Year that runs from June 2023 through May 2024. Group A covers the Ameren service territory, as well as areas serviced by rural electric co-operatives and municipal electric providers in central and southern Illinois.
Additionally, capacity for Smaller Distributed Generation (on-site) projects (25kW AC in size and smaller) in Group A is quickly being exhausted. For the current Program Year, as of 11:00 a.m. CPT September 6, 2023 only 6.22 MW of Program capacity remains for Group A Small Distributed Generation projects, which the Agency expects to last until Fall or Winter 2023. This may leave an estimated six months of the Program Year (January through May 2024), with no capacity available for new applications submitted to the Program for projects developed in central and southern Illinois.
Projects developed in central and southern Illinois may still be submitted to the Program even if there is not currently any capacity available. These applications will be placed on a waitlist and will have first priority to new capacity released on June 1, 2024.
Customers may purchase, install, and finance solar projects during the current Program Year, even if the relevant category for their project type does not have Program capacity available. However, given limitations on Program capacity and resultant potential delays in awarding renewable energy credit delivery contracts (through which incentive payments are made), customers should be aware that there could be a delay in the availability of the Illinois Shines incentive payments associated with newly submitted Group A Small Distributed Generation and Large Distributed Generation projects. Please keep in mind, delays in Illinois Shines incentives do not affect benefits that customers receive from net metering and do not affect the eligibility for or timing of any federal tax incentives.
The Agency is committed to ensuring there is enough capacity for continuous solar development in central and southern Illinois and is actively working towards solutions to this current lack of capacity for future years. Program capacity levels can be reviewed on the Program’s capacity dashboard, which is updated daily: https://illinoisshines.com/project-status-and-capacity-dashboard/