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Unlike solar panels which are installed on the customer's rooftop and are solely for the use of one household or customer, community solar is shared by two or more utility customers in a utility's service territory. In New Jersey, the community solar pilot project will allow customers to buy a share of the electrical output of the community solar energy generating system. See also: How Community Solar works. (Source: U.S. Department of Energy)
A subscriber organization is a person or entity that owns or operates a community solar energy generating system; or the collective group of subscribers of a community solar project. We expect solar developers, non-profit energy assistance groups, homeowners' associations, community organizations, commercial businesses, utilities, retail electricity suppliers, etc., to consider applying to participate in the community solar program as subscriber organizations. Individual subscribers are customers who buy a share of the electricity generated by a community solar energy generating system and get a credit on the bill from their utility.
One category of the program is restricted for projects that must serve a significant percentage of low- and moderate-income customers. When you sign up for community solar, notify your subscriber organization that you are a low- or moderate-income customer and the subscriber organization will verify your eligibility.
Yes. Participating in the program does not require you to install solar panels on your residence. You can subscribe to get your energy from a community solar project in your utility's service territory.
No. Approved Net Energy Meter (NEM) customers are excluded from participating in the Community Solar program at this time.
You need to live within the ACE service territory, within the same geographic limitations (if any) of the and subscribe to a Community Solar project that is also located in the ACE service territory to which you have subscribed.
If you move, within the same service territory and geographic limitations, as appropriate, you can transfer your subscription to your new residence following notice to Atlantic City Electric (ACE) and Subscribing Organization. Otherwise, you can only sell or transfer your subscription back to the project owner or Community Solar subscriber organization.
Bill credits will vary depending on your subscription contract (refer to your contract for specific terms and conditions). You will get a bill credit based on the amount of electricity produced by your share of the project. The kilowatt-hour credit will be applied to each subscriber's bill as a dollar credit to the subscriber's billed amount.
As with any business deal, READ YOUR CONTRACT CAREFULLY and make sure you understand and agree with the terms and conditions before you sign. There are several consumer protections:
Subscriber organizations are not allowed to use marketing tactics that are unfair, false, misleading or deceptive.
Agents may not market door-to-door unless they have had a criminal background check and have been properly trained in local, state and federal laws governing marketing activities.
In addition, there are minimum requirements for a subscription contract as well as a contract disclosure form that must be presented to every subscriber before a contract is signed. The BPU does not regulate community solar rates.
New Jersey BPU has indicated that a permanent program will be established following the three-year pilot program. Please refer to the Office of Clean Energy website.
Other than having an active ACE account in good standing, you do not need to file any paperwork with ACE. The Subscriber Organization will include the Subscribers' information in the documentation it files with ACE
Yes. Having a subscription does not impact a customer's right to choose an energy supplier
ACE will apply the Community Solar Bill Credit to the customer account number provided to ACE by your Subscriber Organization.
The Community Solar Bill Credit shall be specifically identified as the Community Solar Bill Credit in a separate line on the subscribers' utility bills.
ACE can charge an adminstrative charge if approved by the NJ Board of Public Utilities.
Most likely, yes. Your Community Solar Bill Credit may not offset all charges.
No. The generating equipment will only be required at the Community Solar Projects Facility.
A net-capable meter would not be installed at a subscriber's/customer's premise for Community Solar.
Can a customer subscribe to a community solar facility outside of their utility service territory?
No, the community solar facility is required to be located in the same utility service territory as the customer.
You may subscribe to a community solar project that is located within the same service territory as your electric utility- whether you get your electric from the utility or a retail supplier.
Solar developers, non-profit energy assistance groups, homeowners' associations, community organizations, commercial businesses, utilities, retail electricity suppliers, etc., can apply to participate in the community solar program as subscriber organizations.
A subscriber organization (which can be a utility, retail electricity supplier, solar developer, etc.) must first be granted admission to the program by the NJ BPU.
Not including the administrative users, each facility will be granted 10 active users.
To view a list of currently authorized users and to request the addition or removal of users, navigate to the User Access tab for the CS Facility you have selected. You will be presented with a list of email addresses associated with currently active users and the date they were added.
Above the list of users, a link to "Contact ACE" if the Facility Owner needs to update the information displayed on that page. Once the Facility Owner selects the "Contact ACE" link, an email message will be generated, and he/she can let the Utility Administrator know what user changes they want to make.
It is important to note that once a user has been granted access to a specific Community Solar Facility, they still need to create an ACE Community Solar "My Account" User ID and Password. The User ID for their "My Account" will need to be the same email address they used to gain access to the Community Solar Portal.
Once a user has been granted access to a specific Community Solar Facility, they still need to create an ACE Community Solar "My Account" User ID and Password. The User ID for their "My Account" will need to be the same email address they used to gain access to the Community Solar Portal.
For more information about how to create a Community Solar "My Account", click this link: Getting Started
The Community Solar Portal has been designed to provide a similar experience for contractors working within any of the Exelon Utilities; however, due to regulatory and customer information system differences, there are some things that have been modified from one utility to another. Since each utility's CS Portal is unique, each will require a separate login; once logged in, however, you will be able to manage subscriptions for all your facilities in that service area.
If you already have a "My Account" User ID that you use to login to your company's utility account online, you can use the same email address/User ID to login and navigate from your utility account to the Community Solar Portal within that website. For your convenience, we do recommend, however, that you create a unique Community Solar Portal "My Account" User ID, using a different email address, to provide direct access to the portal upon login.
To manage subscriptions within ComEd, BGE, Atlantic City Electric, Delmarva and Pepco, you will need to create a "My Account" User ID within each of those utility websites. You may use the same email address as your User ID for each utility when creating your "My Account".
The Enrollment ID is established by an ACE Administrator and appears on the facility's account within the utility customer information system. That Enrollment ID is also linked to the subscribers of a facility/CSEGS/CREF, to establish the connection between the subscribers and the community solar project(s) to which they have been contracted. It is used to ensure the generation credits are applied to subscribers of the facility each month.
Below are the steps to sell to another owner:
Pursuant NJ 51 N.J.R. 266, existing solar projects may not apply to re-qualify as a community solar project for NJ Community Solar Pilot Program.
Subscriber organizations are not allowed to use marketing tactics that are unfair, false, misleading or deceptive. Agents may not market door-to-door unless they have had a criminal background check and have been properly trained in local, state and federal laws governing marketing activities. In addition, there are minimum requirements for a subscription contract as well as a contract disclosure form that must be presented to every subscriber before a contract is signed. The BPU does not regulate community solar rates.
A subscriber Organization may issue up to 250 subscriptions per each MW of capacity of their community solar project.
A Community Solar project may have a minimum of 10 subscribers.
ACE will pay the Subscriber Organization for all unsubscribed energy. Compensation will be at the PJM Locational Marginal Price (LMP), adjusted for ancillary services
No. The Community Solar Project must supply all its energy directly onto the grid to become part of ACE's energy supply. The subscribers receive the energy virtually, through bill credits
A Community Solar Project can output no greater than 5 MW AC (alternating current)
Once the Community Solar Project owner has satisfied all requirements of the interconnection application process, including executing an Interconnection Agreement with Community Solar Projects Addendum and providing an inspection certificate, and the Subscriber Organization has executed a Community Solar Projects Contract with ACE, ACE will issue the Community Solar Project an Authorization to Operate. At that point, the Community Solar Project may begin generating the energy
Either the Generator Owner or the Subscriber Organization, depending on the contractual arrangement between them.
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.
No, projects are not required to have submitted an interconnection agreement or have an executed interconnection agreement prior to applying to the Pilot Program.
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.
Capacity hosting maps are available for Atlantic City Electric.
There are currently no penalties for withdrawing a project from the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program after it has been approved by the Board for participation.
Pursuant to the Board's Order dated March 29, 2019, docket number QO18060646 pertaining to the interconnection of community solar projects in the Pilot Program, and pursuant to the provisions established at N.J.A.C. 14:8-9.9(a): "community solar projects shall comply with all current and future applicable interconnection requirements applicable to each EDC, as set forth in N.J.A.C. 14:8-5 and shall be processed by the EDCs following normal interconnection procedures." Thus, the interconnection of community solar projects in the Pilot Program will be through the EDCs, not through PJM. Projects that are selected for participation in the Pilot Program will be required to file an interconnection application with the EDCs, irrespective of any interconnection application previously filed at the Applicant's own risk through PJM.
No. Projects may submit an interconnection application at their own cost at any time. However, only projects that have been approved by the Board to participate in the Pilot Program may be assigned a place in the interconnection queue by the EDCs.
Correct. Please see the Application Form and the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program rules at N.J.A.C. 14:8-9 for further information.
Pursuant to the definition of the bill credit at N.J.A.C. 14:8-9.7, the value of the bill credit will be set at the retail rate, minus non-bypassable charges, at the subscriber's rate schedule.
The ability to make at least a one-time change will enable subscribers to subscribe at any time, independent of seasonal energy bill changes.
No. Please see the definition of an annualized period at N.J.A.C. 14:8-9.7(d).
The Pilot Program rules do not require a specific nature or duration of the contract between a Community Solar Subscriber Organization and the subscribers to a project. Please see the rules at N.J.A.C. 14:8-9 and the Application Form for applicable rules and regulations.