Looking up from the base of the Sears Tower.

After the successful June 2015 procurement , the Illinois solar industry is racing toward the second round of the three-part SREC Procurement

Now is the time to act for the second of three procurements in Illinois.

After the successful June 2015 procurement , the Illinois solar industry is racing toward the second round of the three-part SREC Procurement. Driving growth of new, distributed solar generation remains the goal, but there are several key differences from the June procurement. In short, these include:

  1. an increase in the amount of money available from $5 million to $10 million;
  2. an increase in the maximum system size to 2 MW; and
  3. no maximum bid size per bidder.

Like June, the procurement will be broken into several size categories to achieve the goal of procuring 50% of the SRECs from systems smaller than 25kW. Systems must have been energized after January 21st, 2015 and be located behind a customer’s utility meter.

SRECs continue to be a vital piece of solar financing in IL, especially as the previously available state grant shows no signs of returning in the foreseeable future.  Nearly all of the $5 million available in June was spent, and we expect the November procurement to see heavy demand as well.  This procurement and the third round scheduled for March of 2016 will be key events to watch as uncertainty around the state’s policy framework adds to precariousness around the impact of the ITC step down.

Sol Systems will participate again as an Aggregator in the November procurement. Already, we are working with individual customers, installers, and developers to place bids in all size categories.  Additionally, we are working with installers to place speculative bids in the small size category.

For this procurement, the IPA’s published schedule actually places the first major deadlines in late October. In line with that schedule Sol Systems will be accepting new customer registrations until October 20th.

Bid into the Illinois SREC Procurement

The Illinois solar renewable energy credit (SREC) market is preparing for take-off. The Illinois Power Agency (IPA) will procure $30 million in SRECs from Illinois-sited systems this June and November, and in March 2016, and Sol Systems is here to help.

In June, our team will submit bids on behalf of customers in all three categories: <25kW,  25kW up to500kW and 500kW up to 2MW . To qualify for the Procurement, systems must be energized after January 21, 2015..

Learn more below, and contact info@solsystems.com if you have any questions. Installers interested in placing Speculative Bids should contact eric.stam@solsystems.com

About the Illinois SREC Procurement

  1. What is the Illinois SREC Procurement?
  2. What kind of SREC contract can I secure?
  3. Does my solar energy project have to be a certain size to participate?
  4. How do I sign up for the Illinois SREC Procurement?
  5. What deadlines should I be aware of?

Eligibility

  1. Who can participate in the Illinois SREC Procurement?
  2. I live outside of Illinois, but I have an Illinois certification number. Can I still participate?
  3. What size solar energy systems are eligible to bid into the Procurement?
  4. What kind of meter is my system required to have?
  5. Is my system required to have remote monitoring?

Bidding

  1. What is the difference between a speculative bid and an identified bid?
  2. What are some important bid rules?
  3. Will you bid my system at exactly the price I send you?
  4. How much will I be paid per SREC?
    What should I bid?
  5. What is Sol Systems fee?
  6. How do I calculate how many SRECs to bid?
  7. Do I have to post credit?
  8. Will I get my deposit back?

Next Steps after Bid Submission

  1. What happens if I have a winning bid?
  2. What important dates should I be aware of?
  3. What are the registration requirements?
  4. How will monthly meter readings be reported? Will I have to do it?
  5. When will I get paid?
  6. What happens if I bid and lose?

General

1. What is the Illinois SREC Procurement?

The Illinois Power Agency is hold a $30 million procurement for solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) from photovoltaic solar systems. The procurement will take place over 3 events starting in June 2015 ($5m spent), followed by November 2015 ($10m), and March ’16 ($15m). The focus of the procurement is on new systems and small systems with a target of 50% of procured SRECs generated by systems smaller than 25kW.

2. What kind of SREC contract can I secure?

Through the procurement, the IPA will award five year contracts with fixed payments, for up to a maximum quantity of SRECs. “Up to Maximum Quantity” means there is no penalty for under producing and no ability to sell more than the Maximum Quantity to the IPA. A customer can sell their SRECs until the maximum quantity or the five year term is reached, whichever comes first.

3. Does my solar energy project have to be a certain size to participate?

No, the small size category only specifies that systems are below 25kW in nameplate capacity (DC). There is a maximum size, 500kW for the June event and 2MW for November and March.

4. How do I sign up for the Illinois SREC Procurement?

Customers can sign up by registering through Sol Systems’ website. Once the online registration is complete, Customers will receive a contract which they can sign and retrun to Sol Systems by email, fax or mail. Addresses and our fax number are:

Sol Systems is working with many installers and developers in IL, and you may be able to sign up with Sol Systems directly through them. Please ask your installer to find out more or contact Sol Systems at info@solsystems.com

5. What deadlines should I be aware of?

Bid submissions are due to Sol Systems by October 20th by 6 pm EST.

You can find the full calendar of dates and deadlines for the procurement see the IPA’s Supplemental PV calendar here: http://ipa-energyrfp.com/calendar/

Eligibility

1. Who can participate?

Eligible solar energy systems must be new, which means they must be energized on or after January 21, 2015 to bid into the Procurement. Systems must also be distributed which means they must be located behind the customers utility meter and be smaller than 2MW. Systems must also be installed by a “qualified person,” which is defined in the law authorizing the Supplemental Procurement, the Illinois Power Agency Act Section 1-56 (20 ILCS 3855/1-56(i)), and is a slightly more stringent standard than is currently in place.

2. I live outside of Illinois, but I have an Illinois certification number. Can I still participate?

Unfortunately not. All solar energy systems must be located in Illinois and must be interconnected with an electric utility, alternative retail electric supplier, municipal utility, or a rural electric cooperative; Sol Systems will aggregate systems located in either MISO or PJM interconnection territory; roughly speaking, Ameren Illinois customers are in MISO territory and ComEd customers are in PJM territory.

3. What size solar energy systems are eligible to bid into the Procurement?

In June, solar energy systems must be in one of two size categories:

a. Smaller than 25kW (50% of SRECs procured); or

b. Between 25kW and 500kW (50% of SRECs procured)

In November, solar energy system systems will be broken into the following size categories:

  1. Smaller than 25kW (50%)
  2. Between 25kW and 500kW (15%)
  3. Between 500kW and 2MW (35%)

In March 2016, solar energy system systems will be broken into the following size categories:

a. Smaller than 25kW (50%) ; or

b. Between 25kW and 2MW (50%)

4. What kind of meter is my system required to have?

Systems must have a revenue quality meter with accuracy as defined by IPA. Click here for the IPA’s requirements for revenue quality meters. Note that there requirements do depend on system size and systems below 10kW which will be registering with the GATS registry may use inverter readings from an inverter that meets the IPA’s accuracy standards. No systems registering with the M-RETS registry may use inverter readings. 5. Is my system required to have Remote Monitoring?

If your system is larger than 20kW, it must have remote monitoring.

Bidding

1. What is the difference between a speculative bid and an identified bid?

Speculative bids are only possible for systems smaller than 25kW. A speculative bid is a bid which only specifies a quantity of RECs and a price per REC. It does not identify the system from which the RECs will come.

2. What are some important bid rules?

  1. The minimum size for bid blocks is 500 RECs, which is approximately 80kW.
  2. In the small size category, all RECS in a single block must be bid at a uniform price.
  3. In the large size category, systems are bid with a specific price per system.
  4. An Identified bid is a bid which identifies the system which will generate the RECs, the quantity of RECs and the price per RECs. The system is identified with information such as physical address, interconnecting utility, planned nameplate capacity. The system does not yet have to be installed or energized to be bid as an Identified System.

3. Will you bid my system at exactly the price I send you?

If your system is above 25kW we will enter your bid with the exact bid price you have. provided to us.

If your system is below 25kW, your system will be grouped with others to reach the minimum bid size of 500 RECs (which is approximately 80kW). Groupings will be determined by the bid prices submitted as well as the overall range of bid sizes and prices. Our goal is to form the most competitive groups possible. However, we will treat the bid price you have provided to us as a minimum bid price and will not put you in a grouping with a lower price.

4. What should I bid?

You should bid the price that makes your project financially feasible. If your project is already built you should bid a price that would result in a meaningful (to you) reduction in the time required to recoup your investment.

When determining your bid price, make sure to account for Sol Systems’ fees, listed below.

5. What is Sol Systems’ fee?

For winning bids, Sol Systems will charge a fee per SREC based on the winning bid price. For Systems smaller than 25kW the fee will be 11% or $10, whichever is greater on a per SREC basis. For systems larger than 25kW the fee will be 9% or $10, whichever is greater on a per SREC basis. Customers who do not have winning bids, will not be charged an additional fee.

6. How do I calculate how many SRECs to bid?

All systems will use the same formula to calculate the quantity of RECs they bid, based on their nameplate capacity. That bid quantity will be calculated as: (Planned Installed Capacity / 1000) x .1438 (the Assumed Capacity Factor) x 8760 kilowatt hours hours x 5 years. When customers register online, this calculation will be done automatically for them.

7. Do I have to post credit?

Any Sol Systems’ customer bidding identified systems will not have to make any credit deposit to place a bid. If you have a winning bid, you will be asked to deposit $4/SREC as the required post-bid credit.

The procurement does have several credit posting requirements: $16/REC for speculative bids and $8/REC for identified bids. Half of the required credit is due at the time of bid submittal.

Installers or Developers placing Speculative bids will post credit as a part of submitting a bid to Sol Systems.

8. Will I get my deposit back?

Yes, if you have a winning bid and are required to post credit, the credit will be refunded along with your first payment for SRECs. If you’ve place a speculative bid, and your bid does not win, your credit deposit will be refunded once IPA has returned the deposit to Sol Systems.

Next Steps after Bid Submission

1. What happens if I have a winning bid?

Once your system is turned on, you will need to submit your approved interconnection agreement to Sol Systems. If your system does not have remote monitoring installed you will report meter readings once a month via your Customer Dashboard on Sol Systems’ online platform.

2. What important dates should I be aware of?

Installers and developers placing speculative bids have six months to identify the systems which will generate RECs to fulfill the speculative bid. Once identified, systems must be energized and registered with GATS/M-RETS within 12 months

Solar energy systems with winning identified bids must be energized and registered with GATS or M-RETS within 12 months of the bid date. Sol Systems will handle these registrations.

3. What are the registration requirements?

Once Sol Systems has received all the necessary information from the customer or installer, we will handle all state and regulatory registration requirements on behalf of any customers with winning bids. There is no additional fee for this process.

4. How will monthly meter readings be reported? Will I have to do it?

Sol Systems will handle submission of meter readings to PJM-GATS or M-RETS on a monthly basis. Meter readings are the way by which SRECs will be measured so that IPA knows how any SRECs you should be awarded and paid for.

Depending on the requirements of the tracking registry and whether your systems has remote monitoring installed, winners may be required to report information to Sol Systems on a monthly basis via Sol Systems’ online Customer Dashboard.

5. When will I get paid?

Payments will be issued on a quarterly basis. Sol Systems processes payments at the end of each month in February, May, August, and November. Payments are also received from the IPA on a quarterly schedule, and Sol Systems will pay customers in the payment month immediately after it has received payment from the IPA. For example, if IPA issues payment to Sol Systems in December, the customer will receive payment in the February cycle.

6. What happens if I bid and lose?

If you first bid does not win in June, Sol Systems will bid your SRECs again in the November event. Before we place another bid for you, you will have the opportunity to confirm or change your bid price.

ABOUT SOL SYSTEMS

Sol Systems is a solar energy finance and investment firm. The company has facilitated financing for 333MW of solar projects on behalf of Fortune 100 corporations, insurance companies, utilities, banks, family offices, and individuals. Sol Systems provides secure, sustainable investment opportunities to investor clients, and sophisticated project financing solutions to developers. The company’s tailored financial services range from tax structured investments and project acquisition, to debt financing and SREC portfolio management. Inc. Magazine named Sol Systems on its annual Inc. 500 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for a second consecutive year, ranking it No. 6 in the nation’s top solar companies in 2014. For more information, please visit www.solsystems.com.