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Frequently Asked Questions

Filing an Application

Siting and Permitting

Project Selection

Interconnection

Incentives and SRECs

Filing an Application

Where can I find the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program rules?

The Pilot Program rules are available here.

Where can I find the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program Application Form?

The Application Form is available here.

When is the deadline for submitting an Application Form?

As approved by the Board at its March 29, 2019 Agenda meeting (Docket No.  QO18060646), the Application Period for Program Year 1 is open from April 9, 2019 at 9:00 A.M. to September 9, 2019 at 5:00 P.M.

How do I submit my Application Form to the BPU?

Mail or hand-deliver the original complete Application Package plus three copies of the complete Application Package to:
New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
44 South Clinton Avenue, 7th Floor
Post Office Box 350
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0350
Attn: Office of Clean Energy, Community Solar Energy Pilot Program Application Package

In addition, submit an electronic version of the complete Application Package to both of the following email addresses: communitysolar@njcleanenergy.com and board.secretary@bpu.nj.gov.

Do I need to answer every question? Can I leave a section blank if I don’t know the answer?

Yes, all questions are required to be answered, unless explicitly marked as optional. No section or question may be left blank, unless explicitly marked as optional.  All attachments are required, unless explicitly marked as optional. All signatures are required, unless explicitly marked as optional. An Application will be deemed administratively complete if: 1) all questions are completed, except those explicitly marked as optional, 2) all required attachments are included, and 3) all required signatures are included. Only Applications that are administratively complete by the close of the Application Period will be considered for participation in the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program during the current Application Period. Please note that Applicants will not be notified as to whether an Application is deemed administratively complete or incomplete until all Applications are reviewed following the close of the Application Period.

Is there a fee to submit an Application?

There is no fee for submitting an Application.

Can I submit more than one Application Form?

There is no limit to the number of Application Forms that can be submitted by any one Applicant. However, note that you cannot apply for more than one project per Application Form.

Who can submit an Application Form?

There are no restrictions as to who can submit an Application Form. For example, an Applicant may be a project developer, project owner, project operator, municipality, contractor, installer, site owner, etc. However, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 14:8-9.3, Board staff will not accept applications for Electric Distribution Companies (EDCs) to develop, own, or operate community solar projects.

Can an existing solar project apply to participate in the Pilot Program?

No, an existing solar project may not apply to requalify as a community solar project. An existing solar project, as defined in N.J.A.C. 14:8-9.2, means a solar project having begun operation and/or been approved by the Board for designation as connected to the distribution system prior to February 19, 2019. Projects having received a subsection (r), subsection (s) or subsection (t) conditional certification from the Board prior to February 19, 2019 should refer to the Application Form for additional information.

What happens if I submit an incomplete application?

An incomplete Application will not be considered for participation in this Application Period. It may be amended and resubmitted during the next Application Period without advantage or disadvantage.

Will Applications filed with the BPU prior to the September 9, 2019 deadline be at an advantage or disadvantage compared to other Applications?

There is no advantage or disadvantage to filing an Application prior to the September 9 deadline. All Applications will be reviewed and evaluated together following the close of the Application Period. No Application or part of an Application will be reviewed prior to the close of the Application Period on September 9, 2019 at 5:00P.M.

Siting and Permitting

The Application Form requires a meeting with the NJDEP Office of Permit Coordination and Environmental Review. How do I set up a meeting?

Further information regarding the NJDEP Office of Permit Coordination and Environmental Review, including contact information, is available at the following link: https://www.nj.gov/dep/pcer/. Please note that this meeting is not required if the proposed community solar facility is located on a rooftop, parking lot, or parking structure.

Where can I find out which sites are preserved, non-preserved, within a municipal boundary, etc.?

The Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Energy and Sustainability has developed a mapping tool to help Applicants site community solar arrays: https://www.state.nj.us/dep/aqes/solar-siting.html#cstool. Please note that this tool is provided for informational purposes only, and will not be used by the BPU in the evaluation of Applications. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all information submitted as part of their Application, including information pertaining to the proposed project site, is accurate.

Project Selection

How are projects selected to participate in the Pilot Program?

 As described in the Application Form approved by the Board on March 29, 2019 (Docket No.  QO18060646), following the close of the Application Period on September 9, 2019, each Application will be reviewed and evaluated by a dedicated Evaluation Committee. Projects will be scored according the criteria for evaluation presented in Appendix C of the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program Application Form. Projects must score a minimum of 30 points total in order to be considered for participation in the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program. Projects that score above 30 points will be presented to the Board for approval for participation in the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program in ranked order, starting with the highest-scoring project and proceeding to the lowest-scoring project, and until the allocated program capacity for that Program Year is filled.

How many projects will be selected in Program Year 1?

The allocated program capacity for Program Year 1 is 75MW. Note that individual community solar projects may not exceed 5MW. At least 40% of program capacity (i.e. at least 30MW) will be allocated to low- and moderate-income (LMI) projects. Furthermore, the allocated program capacity for Program Year 1 is divided among each EDC area based on their average respective percentages of in-State retail electric sales.

When will I hear if my project was selected?

All Applications will be reviewed and evaluated together following the close of the Application Period (September 9, 2019 at 5:00P.M.). Following the review and evaluation process, projects will be approved for participation in the Pilot Program by the Board. There are no time limits on the BPU’s review or approval of projects submitted during the Application Period.

What happens if my project is not selected for participation in the Pilot Program during this Application Period?

A project which was not selected to participate in the Pilot Program in this Application Period may be resubmitted during the next Application Period without advantage or disadvantage. The Board has not approved a queue process for projects that were not selected to participate in the Pilot Program in this Application Period.



Interconnection

What is the interconnection process for community solar projects?

As approved by the Board at its March 29, 2019 Agenda meeting (Docket No.  QO18060646), community solar projects may file an interconnection application with the relevant EDC, following the interconnection standards set forth in N.J.A.C. 14:8-9.9(a) and N.J.A.C. 14:8-5.

Projects may file an interconnection application prior to being selected by the Board at their own risk. Such an application will not advantage or disadvantage an Application in its evaluation by the Board.

Are projects required to have submitted an interconnection agreement or have an executed interconnection agreement prior to applying to the Pilot Program?

No, projects are not required to have submitted an interconnection agreement or have an executed interconnection agreement prior to applying to the Pilot Program.

Can I submit a net metering interconnection application for a community solar project?

No, a net metering interconnection application cannot be used for a community solar project. Pursuant to the Board Order dated March 29, 2019, the EDCs are currently developing an interconnection application for community solar projects. This page will be updated with links to those applications once they become available.

Where can I find the capacity hosting maps for each EDC?

Capacity hosting maps are available for Atlantic City Electric and Rockland Electric Company.  Capacity hosting maps for JCP&L and PSE&G electric service areas are not yet available. This page will be updated when they become available.

Incentives and SRECs

Is my community solar project eligible for SRECs?

Community solar projects will be eligible to apply, via a one-time election prior to the delivery of any energy from the facility, for SRECs or Class I RECs, as applicable, or to any subsequent revision to the solar compensation mechanisms as determined by the Board pursuant to the Clean Energy Act. Projects seeking SREC eligibility must commence commercial operations prior to the Board’s determination that the state has attained 5.1% of kilowatt hours sold in the state from qualifying solar electric power generators. Community solar projects may not register with the SREC Registration Program (SRP) prior to being selected by the Board for participation in the Pilot Program.

I have already registered with the SREC Registration Program (SRP). Can I use that SRP registration for my community solar project?

No. Projects may not register a community solar project with the SRP prior to being approved by the Board for participation in the Pilot Program. An SRP registration that was filed prior to the project being approved by the Board for participation in the Pilot Program must be withdrawn and re-submitted upon the project being approved by the Board for participation in the Pilot Program. Furthermore, please note that any new SRP will comply with all Board rules and regulations, including the October 29, 2018 and February 27, 2019 Board Orders regarding the implementation of a 10-year SREC term and the requirement to commence commercial operations prior to the state’s attainment of the 5.1% milestone discussed in the question above.

I have already registered with the SREC Registration Program (SRP). Do I need to withdraw that registration in order to apply to the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program?

No. Applicants with a prior SRP registration do not need to withdraw that application in order to apply to the Pilot Program. However, if the project is approved by the Board for participation in the Pilot Program, the Applicant must withdraw the prior SRP registration. As indicated in the question above, the Applicant may subsequently re-submit an SRP registration for the community solar project if they so desire.

What incentive will be available for community solar projects if my project does not receive permission to operate prior to the close of the SREC program to new registrations (i.e. prior to the Board’s determination that 5.1% of the kilowatt-hours sold in the State by each electric power supplier and each basic generation provider comes from solar electric power generators connected to the State’s electric distribution system)?

Any incentive established to replace the current SREC program will be determined via the Board’s Solar Transition pursuant to the P.L.2018, c.17. Please refer to this page for further details.



Find a Trade Ally

Find a Trade Ally

Program Literature

Applications and Brochures - Download Program Materials

Learn About Solar Energy

Clean Energy Learning Center


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