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Pennsylvania PUC Makes Solar Energy Law Clear

On April 19, 2018, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) finally issued a ruling that cements the intent of the recently passed PA Solar Jobs Bill, know as Act 40. This solar energy law in effect “closes the border” for PA’s valuable Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) .

As a result of this ruling, only Pennsylvania projects will be able to participate in the state’s SREC market going forward. No longer will out of state projects be allowed to take advantage. This shows that both the commissioners and the lawmakers, including the governor, recognize the value and economic opportunity offered by investing and building solar capacity within Pennsylvania’s borders.

A Quick History

The brief history begins with the establishment of the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) in 2004. Originally, the target required the state electricity suppliers to deliver 18% from renewable energy sources by 2020, both those that generate power and those that distribute power. There is a solar set-aside (or “solar carve out”), mandating a certain small, but increasing, percentage of that 18% of renewable electricity be generated by Photovoltaic (PV) technology. As a part of this requirement, the electricity suppliers are allowed to either install solar capacity or purchase “credits” from conforming solar sites including homeowners and businesses. These are direct payments for each Megawatt-hour (1000 kW-h) of solar energy produced, and are transacted through the purchase of the SRECs. This solar energy law is sure to have lasting effects.

What You Should Know

At Exact Solar, we see this ruling as a very positive change for both existing solar customers and anyone considering solar today. There are two advantages for our neighbors:

  • Because projects from the entire 13 state PJM Interconnection region will no longer be allowed in the PA solar carve out program, the value of SRECs has immediately started to escalate. As we noted earlier, traders are already forecasting that existing solar credits will double soon. SREC prices which have been consistently below $10 for years, have recently risen to $13, and are projected to rise to $18 – $26 in 2019. That means more money in the pockets of homeowners with solar energy systems in 2018 and beyond. Longer term, the credits should continue to rise in multiples of the 2017 values.
  • This will encourage more solar activity within the state. The value of local solar energy systems to the electricity suppliers is now greater. Increasing local activity is better for the state economy.

What’s Next

Legislators in Harrisburg are already working on amendments to the AEPS targeting increases in the amount of electricity utilities deliver from renewable energy sources. Keep an eye out for shout-outs from Exact Solar about opportunities to contact your representatives and advocate for better solar policy in Pennsylvania.

Solar Energy Savings Remain Strong

While 2018 may appear to be a mixed bag of good and bad trends for Pennsylvania homeowners thinking about solar, we see the combination of federal and state solar policy changes will still allow us to deliver the best lifetime savings to our customers. We invite you to receive a free evaluation to show you how this is true. And by selecting Exact Solar, you will be helping this new trend of keeping solar even more local in Pennsylvania.

We encourage you to Contact Us using the form to the right and get your own personal costs estimate. Find out how a solar energy system in 2018 is still one of the best investments you can can make for your home.

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