Traditional Community Solar

The Traditional Community Solar category now allows for community solar projects up to and including 5 MW in size (increased from 2 MW). Capacity for the Traditional Community Solar category for the first two years after the effective date of Public Act 102-0662 were allocated to projects already on ordinal waitlists as of Public Act 102-0662’s enactment, as outlined below. Traditional Community Solar projects must have subscriptions of 25 kW or less constitute at least 50% of the facility’s nameplate capacity. The Traditional Community Solar category will generally comprise at least 30% of the Illinois Shines capacity. Traditional Community Solar projects will now also feature 20-year REC delivery contracts that pay for RECs over time as they are delivered, rather than the front-loaded payment schedule previously used for community solar.

Looking to subscribe? Find a Community Solar Project with this downloadable list.

For assistance in this project category, contact the Community Solar Sector Strategist, Jess Blue, at [email protected] or the Program Administrator team at [email protected].

A field of solar arrays during sunset.

Category-Specific Resources

Traditional Community Solar Scoring Criteria for Program Year 2024-25

Any affiliated family of project developers which exceeds 20% of the awarded capacity in a given year’s Traditional Community Solar (“TCS”) block (determined separately for Groups A and B) will have any projects that cause them to exceed the 20% capacity cap moved to become the first projects on the waitlist for the applicable group. Between projects that participate in TCS scoring with tied scores that belong to a single Approved Vendor, an Approved Vendor will have the option to select which of their projects would be selected and which moved to the waitlist in order to keep that Approved Vendor within the 20% developer cap. For projects subject to a developer cap, projects will be subject to the cap by the date/time that they are submitted to the Program, meaning there is no swapping permitted to reorder projects to fit into the 20% allowance. The first project that goes above the 20% cap will have the opportunity to be resized to fit within developer cap. Waitlisted projects carried over from the prior Program Year are included in determining whether the developer cap has been met, with the capacity from previously waitlisted projects considered on the first day of the new Program Year. If further ordering is required across first-day submitted projects (for instance, ordering of projects featuring the same score where projects receiving that score span across selected and unselected capacity within that block), the Agency proposes only then to utilize a random selection process to create a rank-order within those equivalently-scored projects. 

Please see the Community Solar section of the Program Guidebook for more information.  

On June 3, 2024 Traditional Community Solar capacity for the 2024-25 Program Year opened with 64 MW for Group A and 149 MW for Group B. Capacity was first allocated to projects on the 2023-24 Group A and Group B Waitlists, with a 20% Developer cap applied. The list of awarded waitlist projects can be found below.

Awarded TCS Projects in 2024-25

On June 1, 2023, Traditional Community Solar capacity for the 2022-2023 Program year opened. In accordance with the TCS scoring guidelines previously published in both the 2022 Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (pg. 166) and the 2023 Program Guidebook (pg. 115), the Program Administrator has scored all TCS projects submitted on June 1, 2023 that completed application processing.

These scores are published below, and the full TCS scoring announcement can be found here.

2023-2024 Traditional Community Solar ScoringPublication Date
2023-2024 Traditional Community Solar ScoringOriginal file August 24, 2023.

September 20, 2023 Random Selection Event

TCS Capacity for the 2022-2023 Program Year was fully awarded during the Random Selection Event. Please see the announcement for more details. Projects submitted after June 1, 2023 will be prioritized and processed in the order received and will be added to the applicable waitlists for the TCS blocks if the project meets the 5.0 point minimum threshold. These waitlists are published on the Block Capacity Dashboard and are updated regularly. Waitlisted projects will be eligible for new capacity released for the 2024-2025 Program Year beginning June 1, 2024.

View the recording here

View the slides here

View the results spreadsheet here

On November 1, 2022, Traditional Community Solar capacity for the 2022-2023 Program year opened and Approved Vendors were able to submit TCS applications. In accordance with the TCS scoring guidelines previously published in both the 2022 Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (pg. 166) and the Program Guidebook (pg. 22), the Program Administrator has scored all TCS projects submitted on November 1, 2022 that are Part I verified.

These scores are published below, and the full TCS scoring announcement can be found here.

2022-2023 Traditional Community Solar ScoringPublication Date
2022-2023 Traditional Community Solar ScoringOriginal file March 10, 2023; Updated file May 3, 2023 (fifth update issued).

Category-Specific Updates

This blog includes key items specific to this Illinois Shines project category, but AVs and Designees are still expected to read all Program announcements in full, which contain other critical Program items and updates.