Below are anticipated or frequently asked questions regarding the program. If you have any questions that are not addressed in the following list, please reach out to njcsi@daymarkea.com.

Solar Generation and Storage

What is the math behind a Normalized SREC adder for storage?

A. From the Board Order: “[T]he value of the storage adder be determined by taking the discharge capacity of the installed storage facility in MWh, dividing the resulting number by the nominal electricity generation capacity of the installed associated solar facility, measured in MW, dividing the resulting number by four, and then multiplying this with the normalized storage bid. Written as a formula, the SREC-II adder would be:


In no case would the adder exceed the value of the normalized storage bid, i.e., only up to four (4) hours of storage are eligible for an incentive under the CSI Program.”

If I am awarded an SREC-II storage adder, will it be applied to all hours of solar production, or limited to hours in which storage is providing power to the grid?

A. An SREC-II storage adder is added to the SREC-II payment for all hours of solar production.

Is there an additional fee for storage projects associated with solar projects?

A. There is no additional fee for storage bid submissions. The $1000/MW participation fee is charged for the solar generation projects.

The Order says that the storage adder can be revoked if the storage facility is not operational. Will you be providing criteria on what constitutes “not operational”?

A. We will. The intent is to protect against storage being removed or taken out of operation after an adder is secured. For grid supply storage, we would expect the storage asset to remain merchant in the PJM markets, or provide Board Staff with a written explanation within 90 days of ceasing participation in markets. This requirement will be subject to auditing.

Will projects that participated in the 1st solicitation get relief from the participation fee?

In the November 17 Board Order, the Board waived the bid fee for developers who submit into the November 2023-February 2024 solicitation a substantially similar project as that submitted in the first solicitation. To be considered substantially similar, the footprint of the second project must overlap the first. Please reference the Project ID number for the project in the first solicitation. The amount of the bid fee waived will be capped at the amount of the bid fee paid for said project’s participation in the first solicitation. No portion of the bid fee will be refunded if the project is smaller than initially submitted.

Are grid supply projects allowed to have a project offtaker for the energy portion of the project?

A. Yes, grid supply projects under the CSI program are expected to remain merchant in the PJM energy and capacity markets, and can enter into bilateral sales agreements as they see fit.

In a scenario where a project receives an award for a grid supply solar project but not a storage award, would the developer be prevented from adding storage to the project anyway?

A. No, but you would not receive the adder incentive for your storage under the CSI Program. It is possible, however, that a later addition of storage could qualify for the to-be-established Storage Incentive Program.

If a project were to receive an award under tranche 5 of the solicitation, but then the storage portion of the project does not reach COD or is unable to be constructed, does the solar portion of the project still retain its award (adjusted to remove the storage adder)?

A. Yes. To compete, projects will first be considered as solar-only projects in the appropriate tranche; awarded projects will then be considered as part of tranche 5, grid supply plus solar. The solar award stands if the storage does not get constructed.

Solar Siting & Land Usage

What is the available acreage of covered agricultural lands for this solicitation? How is the acreage calculated?

A. For the current round, the numbers are stated on this website. Appendix C of the Board Order launching the CSI Program lists how the available acreage is calculated for the 2.5% Statewide threshold and the county-by-county 5% development limit. A running total will not be calculated during the solicitation; following awards in this solicitation, available area totals will be updated before the next solicitation.

Will the agricultural land numbers change if a county decides to reduce their ADA acreage?

A. Yes, however these numbers will only be updated between procurement rounds to reflect the latest ADA acreage.

Can you please confirm a waiver is not needed for prime agricultural soils in this second round?

A. As long as thresholds for covered agricultural land are not exceeded, a waiver is not needed for projects on prime agricultural soils. For more detail, see the discussion of “Solar on Agricultural Land” in the Board Order.

The Order launching the CSI Program notes “that the definition of land subject to the per county limit includes the “unpreserved” qualifier, while the statewide restriction does not. Thus, the statewide cap is proposed to be calculated by looking at preserved and unpreserved farmland, while the per-county cap is proposed to be calculated on the basis of unpreserved farmland only.” What does this mean?

A. It means that, when calculating the Statewide limit, the 2.5 percent will be applied to all farmland, both preserved and unpreserved , while for calculation of the county concentration limit, the five percent will be applied to the unpreserved farmland only; preserved farmland is excluded from the calculation. This follows the statute. Prospective bidders must consider that the specific project does not exceed the numbers provided both Statewide and county limits. Note that the numbers have been updated for this solicitation to reflect recent changes in Land Use Land Cover data.

Preserved” farmland is completely off-limits, correct? Is this part of the acreage total under the 2.5% statewide cap?

A. Both statements are correct. Preserved farmland cannot be built on, but it is included in determining 100% of “prime soils and soils of Statewide importance within ADAs” used for calculating the Statewide cap. In other words, raising the limit from 2.5% to 100% is not possible, since some of the 100% is prohibited outright.

I don’t see anything about “preserved” farmland in the statewide methodology. And, in the county methodology, step 1 is to include “preserved” farmland and other excluded areas and step 2 is to “remove” it. Can you explain this further?

A. There is no specific step to account for preserved farmland in the methodology for calculating the Statewide limit, since Preserved farmland is not excluded. The exclusion of preserved farmland for the county-specific limit is what triggers the extra definition step.

For projects seeking a Board waiver to site on prohibited land uses, when can we submit a petition?

A. The waiver process runs on a schedule that is independent of the CSI solicitation process. Waivers must be granted before a Prequalification Application is submitted. Waivers for land use require Board determination issued by Board order; projects proposed for the built environment may receive an administrative waiver from Board Staff. A petition for a waiver may be submitted at any time, through the Board’s website https://www.nj.gov/bpu/agenda/efiling/

What information should be submitted to support a petition for a land use waiver from the Board?

Petitioners for a land use waiver must provide sufficient evidence that a project serves the public interest, and the unique factors that make the project consistent with the character of the specific site. A petitioner may include evidence of community support; approval(s) from an overseeing agency at the State or Federal level; considerations of alternative siting, compensatory mechanisms for any detrimental effects, and/or resiliency benefits to critical infrastructure, services or communities; a valid letter of interpretation or other determination of resource value classification; and/or considerations for and avoidance of the net loss of environmental resources. For a contaminated site or landfill sited on prohibited land uses, a petitioner may also include maps and/or details on the status of applicable compliance and/or remediation requirements.

Where can the pollinator standards, per N.J. Admin. Code § 14:8-12.8(f), be found?

A. Pollinator standards are available on the Documents page of this website, as well as published by NJ Department of Environmental Protection at https://dep.nj.gov/wp-content/uploads/cleanenergy/dep-solar-act-standards-pollinators-august-2023-final.pdf


What are the megawatt targets for this solicitation? Are all MW targets in AC or DC?

A. The Megawatt targets for this solicitation are:

Tranche Megawatt Target (dc)
Basic Grid Supply 140
Grid Supply on the Built Environment 80
Grid Supply on Contaminated Sites & Landfills 40
Net Metered Non-residential, >5MW 40
Storage Paired with Grid Supply Solar 160MWh

All MWs referred to in CSI documents are DC, unless otherwise specified.

Does the BPU have the ability to go beyond the initial 300 MW target for the second solicitation, or beyond the targets for individual tranches?

A. From the Board Order Launching the CSI Program: “Staff recommends that awards for each tranche proceed through the last project that does not exceed the procurement target for a given tranche and if a final award cannot be made that will exactly meet a procurement target, Staff recommends that the Board exercise its discretion in deciding whether the incremental project or projects will benefit New Jersey sufficiently to warrant exceeding the targets.”

Is the CSI Program only for new projects, not existing projects?

A. The CSI Program is open to new facilities that have not yet commenced commercial operation and to facilities that were registered in either the TI or ADI Program, but failed to commence commercial operations and/or submit the post-construction certification package by the applicable expiration dates.

It seems this program is intended more for utility-scale-size projects than Distributed Generation. Could you please confirm that?

A. Confirmed. Projects not eligible to participate in the CSI Program solicitation may be eligible to apply for incentives under the Administratively Determined Incentive (ADI) Program, established as part of the SuSI Program to support residential solar, smaller net metered solar projects, and community solar projects.

Can Remote Net Metering projects greater than 5MW qualify for the CSI program?

A. Yes, a remote net metering project greater than 5MW may participate in the CSI Program. The remote net metering project must go through the Board’s Public Entity Certification Agreement application and approval process found on the BPU website before the project can participate in a CSI Program solicitation.

Has there been any consideration for giving floating solar its own tranche in the future?

A. See the section, “Floating solar projects,” in the Board Order Launching the CSI Program.

Are all Utilities in NJ participating in / subject to this program?

A. Yes.

If a project participates in a solicitation but does not receive an award, is it prohibited from participating in the following year’s solicitation?

A. No, there is no such prohibition. However, if a project receives an award, defaults on the award, and then wishes to participate in a future solicitation, they have to skip a procurement cycle.

Can a bid be withdrawn from the solicitation?

A. For this solicitation, a bid may be withdrawn up to one month after the bids are due. A project that withdraws a bid will have no penalty, and can participate in the next solicitation cycle. These conditions may be updated for subsequent solicitations.

If your project does not qualify due to timing issues of readiness, are there other programs available that can be applied for?

A. The CSI Program is New Jersey’s only program offering incentives to grid scale solar and large net metered non-residential projects greater than 5MW. The enabling statute provides that the CSI Program solicitation will award 300MW per year for 5 years, ending no earlier than 2026. Projects that are not ready to apply to this round may apply in subsequent rounds.

Can we build a <5 MW system for incentive in the ADI Program, then later expand it to an 8 MW system, discard the first incentive and bid for a CSI incentive?

A. Yes, a project registered with the ADI Program may withdraw their registration, expand the solar generation facility, and bid into the CSI Program with a project greater than 5MW.

Can we build a 6 MW system for incentive in the CSI Program, then later expand it to an 8 MW system, discard the first incentive and submit a new bid for a CSI incentive?

A. Once awarded, a project cannot increase its size by more than 25 kW; a trivial amount in most cases. As the CSI Order states, the Board requires projects that have previously received a CSI award to wait at least one CSI solicitation cycle after their COD deadline before resubmitting the same, or substantially the same project. However, there is no prohibition against co-location, and additions to systems can be bid into subsequent rounds of the CSI Program, as long as they comply with the Program rules.

When will the next solicitation window open?

A. We have not yet definitively determined when the window for the next solicitation will open, but we anticipate that solicitation #3 will take place a year after this solicitation unless compelling reasons to change that timeline arise.

When will the BPU announce the procurement targets for the next year’s (2024) solicitation?

A. The timing is not yet known, but it the statutory mandate of at least 300 MW per year will be a significant factor in setting the targets.

Awards and Registration

Please expand on what “compete on price” means to the BPU for the ultimate awarding in these tranches.

A. For pre-qualified projects, awards will be made within each tranche based on SREC-II price. Bids will be awarded individually, resulting in different SREC-II prices for each project.

When will we know if our bid has been selected for an award?

A. There will be a Board Order to announce the awarded bids after the solicitation. As the internal process for getting a Board Order through the system will be the limiting factor, the typical timeline would be 2-3 months.

Will winning bids be posted?

A. For winning bids, the following elements of the bid will be made public: Bidding party name, bid price, project capacity in MWdc, and any covered farmland area.

Will the registration form be available before the solicitation awards?

A. Yes, the form will be released before the Board issues any awards, but not necessarily before bids are due.

What information will be collected in the registration form?

A. The information collected will follow the registration requirements in the adopted CSI Program Rules at N.J.A.C. 14:8-11 and in the November 17 Board Order establishing price caps for the second solicitation. The requirement for “electrical and building permits or documentation that applications for electrical and building permits have been submitted to the relevant municipality” has been waived for projects that receive an award in the second solicitation.

Will the BPU allow for revisions to registration application if there are issues with the initial submission (i.e., clerical errors, unintentional misinterpretation of the requirements)?

A. Generally yes. SuSI rules specify the process for registrations that are found to have minor issues and also for those found to have major issues. If the program administrator does not flag these and something needs to be corrected after registration, this will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

If a project were to receive an award in 2023 and is unable to meet registration requirements, can the project participate in the next solicitation?

A. The requirement to wait for a year after the registration expires would only go into effect after notice of conditional registration has been issued by the Program Administrator. If a project neglects to register so that no such notice issues, that project may participate in the next solicitation cycle.

Will the Board Order awarding incentives through the CSI program establish any additional requirements for the EDCs?

A. No. The requirement to purchase all SREC-IIs that will be generated is already in place, as set forth in the Solar Act of 2021 and the administrative codification at N.J.A.C. 14:8-2.3 and N.J.A.C. 14:8-11.8.

When does the 3-year Commercial Operation Date (“COD”) clock start?

A. The 3-year COD clock starts after the awards, once the project is registered in the program.

What if the project doesn’t reach COD when the developer indicates?

A. Please refer to the section “Requirement for Commercial Operation Date” in the Board Order Launching the CSI Program.

Are there obligations or rights on withdrawal or termination of a project from the program?

A. If a project withdraws from the program before it reaches COD, a project that is substantially the same cannot bid into a CSI until one year after the original conditional registration would have expired.

Are there obligations or restrictions on any of the energy, ancillary services, and capacity products that a generator could sell if it receives an award?

A. No. There are no obligations or restrictions on the sale of these products.

If a project is sold after it receives an award but before COD, does the award go away? What about after COD?

A. The award will remain in place if ownership of the project changes. This applies to ownership changes both before COD and after. Changes in ownership will have to be submitted to the program administrator and/or SREC-II administrator as applicable.

Are there penalties if the finished project isn’t as large as proposed in the bid submission?

A. In the case of solar projects, no. However, SREC-II payments will only be made based on actual MWh generated. For storage projects for which the ratio of storage to solar capacity is reduced from the bid, the awarded adder will be adjusted down proportional to the reduction in relative capacity.

If a project were to receive an award under tranche 5 of the solicitation, but then the storage portion of the project does not reach COD or is unable to be constructed, does the solar portion of the project still retain its award (adjusted to remove the storage adder)?

A. Yes. To compete, projects will first be considered as solar-only projects in the appropriate tranche; awarded projects will then be considered as part of tranche 5, grid supply plus solar. The solar award stands if the storage does not get constructed.

Prequalification and Bid Forms

Can you confirm that we first submit a prequalification application and then a bid? Will we receive confirmation that the project is prequalified? How soon after prequalification are we able to bid?

A. Correct – the process is that you would first submit a prequalification application, and once you have received your Project ID and are satisfied with your application, you may submit a bid. If you submit your prequalification application by February 2nd, we will review your materials by February 16th to notify you whether your application prequalifies – if it does not, you will be given feedback as to what parts of your application were deficient and given a link to edit your application.

Can you clarify the February 2nd pre-qualification date?

A. Bidders may submit new bids and prequalification information until the final deadline; however, bidders who submit prequalification information by February 2nd, will be guaranteed that their applications will be reviewed for deficiencies and that they will be given the opportunity to cure these deficiencies prior to the final bid deadline. After the final bid deadline, no changes to bids or prequalification information will be accepted.

In the form, it asks for the Bidder Name. Should we enter the Project Entity that is bidding or the individual that is filling out the form?

A. The requested contact information, including name and position title, is for the person submitting the form so that we know to whom to direct our correspondence. We have added a separate question that asks for the project entity to avoid confusion.

We don’t have addresses for a number of our projects. Should we just use our company address?

A. Coordinates of the proposed project also provided in the application will suffice as an alternative to an address. The intent is to have a location for the project. If there is no full address, the town and “close to Xyz Road” or something of that nature is better than the company address.

In the Pre-Qualification section of the portal, what information is the BPU looking for in the “Project Description” box?

A. The description box of the application is requesting a brief overview of your project. Since many of the project’s aspects are captured throughout the application, it needn’t be extremely detailed. You may also use this field to include details that might not have been captured in the other portions of the application, but that might add clarity in understanding your project.

Please confirm the minimum interconnection requirement for projects connecting to the transmission system to participate.

A. A complete PJM Feasibility study is required for participation. No preference is given to projects with more mature interconnection queue positions.

What is required for prequalification for those projects wishing to connect at the distribution level?

A. Per the adopted CSI Program Rules at N.J.A.C. 14:8-11.10, such projects must provide “written authorization from the EDC providing conditional approval to construct.”  EDC signature is not required but approval may be indicated by email. Note that this information is also required for registration in the program for those projects that receive an award.

What are the accepted file types for shape files?

A. Please upload a .zip file from your project, which should include, at a minimum, the .shp, .shx, .dbf, and .prj components of the shapefile. A shapefile with polygons outlining the development area is preferred, but other spatial files such as .kmz can be uploaded as an alternative.

How should we represent our project geospatially?

A. The best way to represent your project would be by using a polygon that encompasses the proposed development area, which should correspond to your proposed acreage for development inputs into the prequalification form. If there is a disconnect between our acreage evaluation and your inputs, we will need to rectify those before approving your prequalification application.

If Tranche 5 is selected, will the application process lead you to fill in a Tranche 1 bid as well, per the rules of the order?

A. If you select tranche 5 (for storage), you will not be able to submit the form without also filling in the required information for a solar project in Tranches 1, 2 or 3.

Can I save and return to my form later?

A. Yes, for both the prequalification application and bid submission, there is an option to save and return later. If you select ‘save’, you will receive an email with a link to continue your saved form.

Can someone else finish my form?

A. Anyone who has access to the edit link may return and complete the form.

What if the individual submitting the bid is not an authorized signatory for the bidder — is there another way to provide signature?

A. Yes. There is an option to print and sign a paper form and attach an image of the form as an electronic file.

Is the application fee $1,000/MW AC or DC?

A. It is $1,000/MW DC.

The application fee has been identified to be “free” for public projects. Does that include power purchase agreement projects on state / county / municipal land in which the developer is receiving the incentive as part of the PPA?

A. Yes. To qualify for the exemption of the application fee, a project built on state / county / municipal land that benefits a public entity will need to show proof of this through a letter on official stationery of the public agency under signature of a bona fide officer, elected official, or employee of the public entity attesting to the status of the public entity.