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Competitive Solar Incentive (CSI) Program

On December 7, 2022, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (Board) approved a notice of proposal to amend its existing solar energy rules to include the Competitive Solar Incentive (CSI) Program, to be codified at N.J.A.C. 14:8-11.10 as part of the larger Successor Solar Incentive (SuSI) Program, set forth at N.J.A.C. 14:8-11. The SuSI Program serves as the permanent program for providing solar incentives to qualified solar electric generation facilities and the CSI Program is designed to provide incentives to larger solar facilities within the SuSI Program.

Per Board Order dated December 7, 2022, IN THE MATTER OF COMPETITIVE SOLAR INCENTIVE (“CSI”) PROGRAM PURSUANT TO P.L. 2021, C.169; LAUNCHING THE CSI PROGRAM, The CSI Program will serve as the permanent program within the SuSI Program and provide incentives to larger solar facilities. The CSI Program is open to qualifying grid supply solar facilities, non-residential net metered solar installations with a capacity greater than five (5) megawatts (“MW”), and to eligible grid supply solar facilities installed in combination with energy storage.

CSI Program Siting Rules for Grid Supply and Large Net Metered Solar Facilities

On September 18, 2023, Siting Rules for Grid Supply and Large Net Metered Solar Facilities were published in the New Jersey Register at N.J.A.C. 14:8-12. These rules apply to all solar installations that would be eligible to compete in the Competitive Solar Incentive (CSI) Program, which forms part of the larger Successor Solar Incentive (SuSI) Program set forth at N.J.A.C. 14:8-11.

CSI Competitive Solicitation

Per Board Order dated September 27, 2023, IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPETITIVE SOLAR INCENTIVE (“CSI’) PROGRAM PURSUANT TO P.L.,2021, C.169, ORDER ADDRESSING THE TIMING OF THE SECOND CSI PROGRAM SOLICITATION, the Board approved the postponement of the second solicitation of the CSI Program.  The newly scheduled solicitation for pre-qualification will open to new applications on November 27, 2023, and the solicitation will be closed to bids on February 29, 2024, at 11:59:59 PM (EST) for MW targets referenced in this Order.

Per Board Order dated July 12, 2023, IN THE MATTER OF COMPETITIVE SOLAR INCENTIVE (“CSI”) PROGRAM PURSUANT TO P.L. 2021, C.169; OUTCOME OF THE 2023 CSI PROGRAM SOLICITATION, the Board announced the opening of the second solicitation of the CSI Program Solicitation to pre-qualification applications on October 1, 2023, and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) portal for bid submissions will close on December 31, 2023, at 11:59:59 pm.  Through this competitive solicitation, the NJBPU will award SREC-IIs, with separate solicitations for four market segments, or tranches: basic grid supply; grid supply projects located on the built environment; grid supply projects on contaminated sites and landfills; and net metered non-residential projects greater than 5 MW.  An additional fifth tranche will award storage in combination with a grid supply solar award from tranche 1, 2 or 3. Winning bids will be announced by Board Order in an upcoming Board Meeting.

Pre-qualification applications and bid may be submitted through the New Jersey Competitive Solar Incentive (“CSI”) Program Solicitation website at

Competitive Solar Incentive (CSI) Program Registration Process

The CSI online registration portal will be opened to new CSI registrations following awards made by Board Order. CSI eligible facilities will only be allowed to register in the CSI program upon award of a bid pursuant to N.J.A.C. 14:8-11.10. Bidders granted a CSI award will have 30 days following the announcement of the award to register their CSI-eligible solar facility in the CSI Program.

Tranches and Annual MW (dc) Targets

The CSI program structure has separate categories, or tranches, to ensure that a range of solar project types, including those on preferred sites, are able to participate despite potentially different project cost profiles. The Board has approved four tranches for grid supply and large net metered solar and an additional fifth tranche for storage in combination with grid supply solar.  The following table lists procurement targets for the first solicitation:

*The storage tranche of 160 MWh corresponds to a 4-hour storage pairing of 40 MW of solar

CSI Program Registration Requirements

  • The Board requires that all solar facilities, whether or not their owner/operators opt to seek incentives through the CSI Program, be required to register their respective solar projects with the CSI Program registration manager so that the Board is able to track and monitor all solar facilities subject to New Jersey’s solar siting rules.
  • Solar facilities conditionally approved via Board Order shall not be permitted to increase the capacity referenced in the Board Order by more than 20 percent or 25 kW (dc), whichever is smaller.
  • Solar Facilities must be connected to the distribution or transmission system owned or operated by a New Jersey Electric Distribution Company. Solar facilities connected to the grid owned or operated by a New Jersey Municipal Electric Utility are eligible to participate in the CSI program.
  • Project developers must follow the Interconnection process required by PJM Interconnect LLC. and facilitated by the EDC serving the location where the proposed project will be interconnected. Registrants must also obtain authorization to energize their interconnected system from their EDC or PJM Interconnect LLC and submit this documentation with the Final As-Built Packet (Post Construction Certification packet).
  • All CSI-eligible facilities, other than those located on the built environment, must comply with the requirements for soil erosion and sediment control in accordance with the N.J. Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act (N.J.S.A. 4:24-39 et seq.) and implementing Rules at N.J.A.C. 2:90-1.0 et seq.
  • CSI-eligible facilities, other than those mounted on the built environment, are required to comply with NJDEP’s “Standards for the use of Pollinator-friendly Native Plant Species and Seed Mixes in Grid Supply and Select Net Metered Solar Facilities” (“Pollinator Standards”). CSI-eligible facilities that meet the requirements for qualification in the Contaminated Sites and Landfills tranche of the CSI Program would be exempt from mandatory compliance with the Pollinator Standards because landfill closure and contamination mitigation requirements may impose other and potentially conflicting requirements.
  • CSI-eligible facilities shall comply with NJDEP’s Stormwater Management Rules pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:8
  • All CSI-eligible facilities located on covered agricultural lands, other than those mounted on the built environment, shall prepare an infrastructure removal and site restoration plan, etc. pursuant to N.J.A.C. 14:8-12.8(g)
  • For awarded solar facilities that also received an adder award for paired electric storage, N.J.A.C. 14:8-11.6(k) the adder is provided for energy produced by the solar system. The storage adder may be subject to revocation, and the value of the SREC-II of the associated solar facility adjusted to compensate for over payment of any SREC-II adders, if Board staff determines that there is evidence lacking that the qualified storage facility remains operational.
  • All installations must comply with all applicable local, state, and federal laws, permit requirements and regulations.
  • All solar equipment must be new; no equipment can have been used in a previous installation. New equipment is defined as module, inverter, racking, meter and if applicable, transformer.  

CSI Program Registration Webinar

CSI Initial Registration Checklist and Forms

Milestone Reporting Forms

The Milestone Reporting Form is required for all CSI-eligible projects. This form must be submitted with the initial Registration Packet and quarterly thereafter, up until the submission of the Final As-Built (Post Construction Certification) Package.

Identifying Major and Minor Deficiencies with your CSI Registration Packet

As the CSI Registration packet is reviewed, it will either be accepted or deemed incomplete. The below document defines how the CSI Program Processing Team identifies Major and Minor deficiencies within your CSI registration packet.

CSI Final As-Built (Post Construction Certification) Checklist and Forms

A completed Final As-Built packet (Post Construction Certification) and permission to operate (PTO) from the relevant Electric Distribution Company (EDC) must be submitted on or before the expiration date that is noted on the CSI conditional acceptance letter, including any extensions that have been granted.

Instructions on CSI Requirements for Decreases and Increases to the Solar System

The CSI Program allows solar systems to be increased in size by up to 20% or 25 kW (dc), whichever is smaller, from the original system size proposed in the initial CSI Registration packet. Solar facilities cannot increase their system more than 20% or 25kW (dc) and cannot decrease the system capacity by any amount that would reduce the project below 5 MW (dc). Grid solar facilities can decrease in size from the capacity conditionally certified via Board Order, with no restrictions.

Registrants are required to submit a request to the CSI Processing Team for any increase to the system size that was proposed with the CSI Initial Registration packet. The below CSI System Change Form is required to be emailed to to request a change to the size of the solar facility.

Extension Policy

CSI solar facilities conditionally accepted in the CSI Program may be eligible for one 6-month extension. The registrant may apply for an extension for any solar installation that cannot complete the installation and submit a complete Final As-Built (Post Construction Certification) Packet with permission to operate from the Electric Distribution Company in the CSI online registration portal by the expiration date noted in the CSI Acceptance Letter.

Extension Requests will be reviewed and considered on a case-by-case basis and should include supporting documentation of extenuating circumstances for the delay in completing the facility, evidence that the facility has made progress towards completion, and demonstrations of the likelihood of timely and successful completion of the solar facility. For all solar facilities, the CSI Program Manager will consider whether the registrant has submitted timely quarterly milestone reporting forms. If the extension is granted, the CSI Program will provide a new registration expiration date six months from the expiration on the original conditional CSI Acceptance Letter.

Any CSI solar facility that would like to submit a request for a second extension must submit a petition to the NJBPU, for consideration.

Tools Needed to Complete the Final As-Built Forms and Equipment Information

NJCEP reserves the right to request a complete copy of production estimates, a full shade analysis, or any relevant documentation from the solar developer at any time. Save a copy of the “Results” pages for permanent record with the project file.

PV Watts / System Advisor Model (SAM)

Commonly Used Shading Analysis Tools

NJCEP permits the use of other tools as long as the tool can provide a full summary report, in case the CSI Program Manager requests copies.

To Verify the Solar Azimuth Orientation

Program Contacts

To receive emails on the upcoming Competitive Solar Incentive Program stakeholder workshops, webinars, and program updates, please sign up for the Renewable Energy Listserv.

Correspondence and inquiries should be directed to:

New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program
Successor Solar incentive (SuSI) Program
Competitive Solar Incentive (CSI) Program
Phone: 866-NJSMART (866-657-6278)

Solar Installations

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