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Community Solar: Community Solar Participant Agreement

Provisions in the Procurement Plan Approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission

Federal Statutes that Apply to Community Solar

Guidance from the Illinois Commerce Commission and the Illinois Power Agency in Long Term Resources Procurement Plan, Final Plan, pages 151-53 (August 6, 2018).  Listing federal statutes that apply to community solar, Illinois statutes that apply to community solar, and requirements for vendors in Illinois.

Illinois Power Agency, Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan, Final Plan, pages 151-53 (August 6, 2018)

 

Illinois Power Agency’s Documents for Community Solar (Jan. 31, 2019)

Illinois Power Agency Presentation on Community Solar Marketing Guidelines & Materials (November 30, 2018)

Community Solar Marketing Guidelines

Approved vendors and their agents and subcontractors must accurately answer questions on community solar projects, with guidance on responding to these inquiries:  What is the Adjustable Block Program?  What are RECs and why are they valuable?  Will solar save money for the customer?  “Community solar marketing agents shall emphasize to prospective subscribers that value from their subscription agreement is primarily realized through net metering, and that enrollment in net metering will take place as part of the subscription enrollment process.”

Requires that marketing agents provide the customer with the ABP Community Solar Informational Brochure at first in-person or online contact and again at contract signing. Also, marketing agents must present to customers at contract signing the ABP Community Solar Disclosure Form.  The guidelines cover conduct when soliciting subscribers.

Draft Community Solar Brochure

Provides consumer-oriented answers to these questions: What is the Adjustable Block Program?  What is community solar?  What are RECS and why are they valuable?  What information will you receive before you sign a contract?  When deciding to participate in community solar, what are your subscription options?  If you sign up for community solar, what factors affect whether you save money? What is net metering and how do I enroll? Consumer rights.  Complaint procedures.

Community Solar Disclosure Form

Aims to provide consumers with transparency and standardized information so that they can make comparisons of quotes for community solar subscriptions and other options.

Consumer Protection Issues

In solicitations and agreements for community solar projects, communities and developers need to provide consumers clear, truthful advertising, financial calculations, descriptions of terms, contracts, and billing, as well as protections of privacy and other rights. 

While some of the provisions in these documents reflect concerns for individual house rooftop installations, most provisions in the IREC Consumer Bill of Rights and SEIA Solar Transaction Disclosures also apply to community solar projects.

- Interstate Renewable Energy Council, "IREC’s Clean Energy Consumer Bill of Rights"

-Solar Energy Industry Association, "Solar Transaction Disclosures

Jo-Carroll (Illinois) Energy Community Solar Agreement (expected service began in 2014)

Some of the major terms are:

  • Contract length 20 years
  • Up-front purchase price per production unit is $890
  • Solar energy production credit calculated at $0.12/kWh times share of electricity delivered
  • Participant does not acquire the environmental attributes
  • Partici

Minnesota Solar Garden Subscription Agreement for Residential Subscribers

Some of the major terms in this subscription agreement are:

  • Contract length 25 years
  • Flat monthly payments with annual reconciliation process (subscriber pays only for the electricity thee subscription produced)
  • Subscription rate $0.133/kwh; annual escalation 2.3%
  • Transfer fee $100
  • Ineligible termination fee: $250

Exhibits show the annual estimated production and subscription payment, and link to the standard subscriber agency agreement for the producer; the producer’s data privacy policy; and other documents.

                                 

New Richmond (Wisconsin) Community Solar Participant Agreement

 

Shorter agreement set up for online completion by customers.  Each customer selects the number of panels subscribed to -- converted to electricity generated at 0.315 kW/panel, and subscription fee at $567/panel.  Customer also selects whether to purchase the Environmental Attributes associated with the subscription; this selection affects the rate applicable to the customer’s production-related credits according to the producer’s tariff.  The rate and any annual adjustments are set forth in the tariff, not in the subscription agreement.  The term is 20 years, and the subscription is not transferable without the producer’s consent.

 

Tacoma (Washington) Power Community Solar Participation Agreement

 

Some of the major terms in this subscription agreement are:

  • Contract period is 2016-2020.  At the end of the contract, participants receive payment for the estimated value of electricity for 2021-2036.
  • Participants receive two annual payments – value of electricity ($0.405/kWh), and state solar incentive ($1.08 per kWh).
  • Participation Fee is $100 per Solar Unit
  • Allows one transfer during the term or sale if the participant moves outside of the service territory
  • Producer retains ownership of the RECs
  • Exhibit discloses risks and uncertainties associated with participation