New Pennsylvania bill requires solar credits to come from in-state
- PV Magazine reports Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed House Bill 118 last month, moving to change portions of the state's solar renewable energy credits (SREC) policy in an effort to help revive prices in the state's market.
- Previously, SRECs were allowed to be purchased from out of state to meet renewables goals — but they could not be sold outside Pennsylvania, effectively creating a glut of solar energy.
- The issue, according to the Tribune-Review, has depressed the value of the credits in recent years. They have traded from $325/MWh in 2010 to less than $10/MWh more recently.
Pennsylvania officials are hoping now that HB 118 has been signed, the SREC market will begin to stabilize. By creating a system where credits could be bought from out of state but not sold outside, regulators created a market that was impossible to balance with solar energy only flowing one way, stakeholders said.
Some stakeholders, PV Magazine notes, had suggested going the other way: allowing SRECs to be bought or sold either within the Keystone State or on the other side of the border, helping to grow and stabilize prices.
SRECTrade, one of the largest SREC transaction and management firms in the industry, pointed out that under the new law, "any new solar photovoltaic system seeking certification in the PA [Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards] solar carve-out (SREC) program as of this date must meet the [new] eligibility requirements."
The firm also said that HB118 includes grandfathering language to protect certain systems already certified under the AEPS, "but it is unclear how the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will interpret the language for certified but out-of-state generators."
Pennsylvania is targeting 0.5% of the state's energy to come from solar PV by compliance year 2020-2021. Tier 1 resources, including the PV minimum, will target 8% of the state's use. Tier 2 includes 10%, for a total target of 18% by 2021. Currently, the state gets about 13% of its energy from alternative energy sources.
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