On November 1, 2022, Traditional Community Solar (“TCS”) capacity for the 2022-2023 Program year opened and Approved Vendors (“AVs”) were able to submit TCS applications. At 11:59 pm Central Time, the first day of application submissions ended and 673.44 MW of capacity was submitted, 349.32 MW submitted to Group A and 324.12 MW submitted to Group B. For the 2022-2023 Program year, TCS capacity available was 51.27 MW for Group A and 119.63 MW for Group B.
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 will be used to determine which projects will be selected for a REC contract once random selection (if needed) takes place and the 20% developer cap is applied.
The scores have been posted on the Program website on the Solar Project Categories page under the Traditional Community Solar sub-section.
While the Program Administrator has carefully reviewed project applications to determine scores and applied scoring criteria consistently across all project applications, an Approved Vendor may appeal decisions made by the Program Administrator on the scoring of their projects. Any appeal of TCS scores will need to be in accordance with the appeal process outlined in the Program Guidebook (pg. 80). An Approved Vendor has two weeks from March 10, 2023 to file an appeal. Submitted appeals must be received by the Program Administrator at [email protected], by 11:59 pm Central Time March 24, 2023. As the determination of appeals may influence a project’s final score, and thus possibly the final selection of projects, all appeals must be reviewed by the Agency within a distinct timeframe. The Agency intends to have all submitted appeals determined by April 21, 2023, subject to the quantity and substance of appeals submitted.
Following the resolution of scoring appeals, if any, scores will be posted. At that time, the Agency will announce if a random selection process is necessary to break ties between projects that received the same scores and where those scores would impact project selection, or waitlist placement. The Agency expects that random selection of projects within tied score brackets will be necessary based on the current scoring, but this process cannot occur until the appeal process is complete and all scores are confirmed. The Agency intends to hold the random selection reordering event in April or early May 2023, again dependent on appeal determinations and final scores. During this process the 20% developer cap will be applied. Between projects 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. The Program Administrator has determined the appropriate affiliations between AVs for the developer cap as it relates to submitted applications and those affiliations are included in the scoring spreadsheet linked above.
Projects that are placed on the TCS 2022-2023 waitlist will remain waitlisted until capacity in the respective Group becomes available. Waitlisted projects will be eligible for new capacity released for the 2023-2024 program year beginning June 1, 2023.
Projects that received a score less than the required five minimum points to be placed on the waitlist may reapply at any time, but will not be eligible to be waitlisted. The AV will need to submit a new application, thus new application fees will be applied.
Once the work involving TCS applications submitted on November 1, 2022 has concluded, the Program Administrator will start to review TCS applications submitted on and after November 2, 2022. TCS applications will be reviewed in the order submitted. Once applications are reviewed, they will be scored. If the application receives a minimum of five points, it will be placed at the end of the 2022-2023 Program year waitlist. If a project does not receive a minimum score of five points, the application is not eligible to be waitlisted.
Determinations Made During Scoring Process
Section 1-75(c)(1)(K)(iii)(3) of the IPA Act states that Traditional Community Solar projects “shall not be collocated with one or more other community renewable generation projects, as defined in the Agency’s first revised long-term renewable resources procurement plan approved by the Commission on February 18, 2020, such that the aggregate nameplate capacity exceeds 5,000 kilowatts[.]” As such, all projects that were determined to be co-located and have an aggregate nameplate capacity of over 5 MW AC have been asked to withdraw or resize in order to comply with the statutory requirements.
The Program Administrator adhered to a strict reading of the definition of disturbed land which was applied consistently across all applications claiming points under this scoring criterion. In accordance with the definition, qualifying points for disturbed land awarded in instances where the land was in “active transition.”
EEC Designee Use
The Program Administrator determined that points are available under scoring criteria 3.A. and 3.B. are not attainable unless all project development work – including pre-application development work – was performed by an EEC Designee. This standard was applied consistently across all project applications; points under 3.A. and 3.B. are only attainable this Program year for applications which demonstrated that this occurred.
Schedule of Next Steps
- Appeals due to Program by March 24, 2023
- Determinations on appeals from Agency to Approved Vendors expected to be closed out by April 21, 2023
- Random selection event late April or early May 2023, dependent on conclusion of scheduled appeal process
Illinois Adjustable Block Program