Illinois Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)

Solar is hot in Illinois! Here’s why: Illinois is one of just a few states that pay you to generate clean electricity from solar and wind renewable energy systems. The incentive is called a Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC), and it’s administered by the Illinois Shines Program. It’s a perfect incentive for businesses, farms, homes, non-profits, government buildings, others to take advantage of.

Illinois SRECs help those solar system owners recoup their investment. Additionally, SRECs help bring a cleaner and diversified electrical power system to the state of Illinois. Learn more below.



How do Illinois SRECs work?

Solar system owners can create SRECs from the energy produced by their solar panels and arrays. One Illinois SREC equals 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of solar energy generated, or one megawatt (MWh). In other words, every time a MWh is produced by a solar array, another SREC comes into existence.

Owners sell their generated SRECs in Illinois for a 15-year contract into a market set up by the Illinois Power Agency (IPA). SRECs are sold separately from the actual electricity they produce, which means owners can use the electricity from their solar array to directly lower their home or business’ electric bill and sell the SRECs that get created from that energy to the buyer.

SRECs accrue as solar electricity is generated and are typically paid out either as a lump sum or over a 7-year period. For small residential & commercial systems under 25 kW (AC) the SREC payment will occur in one payment.  Large systems over 25.0 kW to 5,000 kW are paid out annually over 7 years. Ultimately, these Illinois solar incentives help stimulate development of new renewable energy resources.

Don’t Forget about the Federal Investment Tax Credit Too!

Don’t forget about the 30% Solar Federal Tax Credit that is available for solar owners as well. That incentive is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the income tax liability that a person or company claiming the credit would otherwise pay the federal government. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 created the investment tax credit (ITC) for commercial and residential solar energy systems.


While it may sound too good to be true, it’s not!

Between the 30% federal tax credit and the SREC incentive, up to 50 to 60% of your solar system or more could be paid for from these two incentives alone. Your payback time is greatly reduced.
Illinois Solar Renewable Energy Credits help the state meet Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), which is a regulatory mandate that sets goals for generating a percentage of Illinois’ overall electricity from renewable energy. The Illinois SREC program could potentially cover 20% to 40% of your total solar investment for residential and business applications!

Contact Tick Tock Energy to get a quote today!

The Illinois SREC plus Federal Tax Credit makes solar very appealing.  If coming up with the initial capital a challenge, we offer great financing options to eliminate this concern.  Don’t delay, enjoy the benefits of generating electricity from the sun!

If you have more questions or would like to see a quote for your home, farm or facility, our experts will be happy to discuss further!

If you’re ready to apply for this beneficial Illinois solar incentive, give us a call or contact us today.

What Are the Key Changes to the SREC Program?

The overall Illinois Shines program address three areas:

  1. Small Distributed Generation (DG) from 0 to 25 kW (AC)
  2. Large Distributed Generation (DG) from >25 kW up to 2,000 kW (AC)
  3. Community Solar

Distributed Generation, or DG for short refers to “behind the meter” solar systems intended to generate electricity for the home or building they are connected to.

The new SREC program continues to use the Adjustable Block format and the SREC price is set by block.  In most cases, the old SREC incentive exhausted blocks 1, 2, 3 and 4.  The price drop between blocks is 4%.   The new SREC incentive will start at Block 5 or 4% lower than the last block.

Community Solar are typically large systems from a minimum size of 500 kW up to 5 MW (AC) that feed into the grid and generating power for subscribers.   See our Community Solar page for more info.  For size comparison, a 1,000 kW, or 1 MegaWatt (MW) community solar plant would require around 3 to 5 acres and 5 MW potentially up to 10 acres.


Don’t live in Illinois?

If you live in a state surrounding Illinois that doesn’t have an SREC program, your project may still be eligible. If you’re in this situation, you can potentially sell the SRECs that your solar system generates into the Illinois SREC market.

Give us a call today to learn more from our experts and how this may potentially be a great opportunity for your solar power system.


Contact Tick Tock Energy to get a quote today!

If you’re ready to take advantage of this highly beneficial Illinois solar incentive, give us a call or contact us today. Whether you’re already a proud owner of a solar array system or you’re thinking about making the solar investment, contact us today to learn more.

Our experts will be happy to discuss this exciting incentive and make sure you understand all the rewarding benefits Illinois SRECs can potentially bring to your project.

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