Finally the time has come, with the SMART solar program officially kicking off on Monday! The initial application period will last from Monday November, 26 until 11:59 PM ET on November 30, 2018. All applications submitted between opening day and midnight November 30, 2018 will be considered to have been submitted at the same time for the purposes of establishing a queue to process applications for placement into Capacity Blocks. All applications received on/after December 1, 2018 will be reviewed on a first come, first served, basis. This means that unless your project is already built, now is the time to get started!
Time is of the essence for the SMART program, due to the declining blocks for the incentive values, so it’s imperative to move quickly with application items. Accordingly, we thought it would be helpful to share a checklist of items needed in order to submit your commercial solar project to be included in the program. While the list looks daunting, remember, if you are working with a full-service solar provider they will ensure all items are completed, properly filed, and organized every step of the way. All you need to do is make the commitment to solar!
- The Application Fee is self explanatory, and one of the easiest pieces of the puzzle. This is taken care of by some providers, like Solect.
- A counter signed Interconnection Service Agreement (ISA) represents your approved agreement with the utility to connect your array to the grid.
- Evidence of site control is represented with either a fully-executed LOI, contract, PPA or Lease Agreement, which demonstrates the ownership of the real estate where the array is situated, and the ownership structure for the array itself.
- Online Certification Form – signing off on terms and conditions as you submit your application online is as simple as it gets!
- Submission of a one line diagram and site plan of the solar array is standard operating procedure for solar installation, and having an engineer stamped proof is all part of the process.
- A recent copy of the utility bill if solar is being installed behind-the-meter (BTM)
The following requirements are only necessary for certain project types, but will apply to many projects waiting to be accepted to the program.
- The documentation for incentive “adders” is needed on a case by case basis, based on how your array is being constructed and what adders you are applying for.
- In the event your array is over 1 MW, evidence of your filing for FERC Qualified Facility (QF) status is required to properly classify your array.
- For solar ground mounts and canopies, all non-ministerial permits need to be obtained to ensure your array is zoned properly and in accordance with all the applicable rules and regulations. Building large ground mounted projects often entails more rigorous zoning requirements, and may need supplemental evidence of proper approval that goes beyond the ministerial proof required for smaller arrays.
Ultimately, the SMART Application Checklist is a culmination of all the paperwork, design, and contracts that need to come together to build your array and ensure you can receive the SMART incentives. In order to be accepted into the program quickly, and be able to take advantage of higher-value incentives it’s imperative to make the commitment to solar sooner than later and partner with a provider you can trust to take care of you every step of the way.