Harrisburg, PA — On Thursday, September 16th 2010 the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) finalized a policy statement intended to provide the foundation from which the Commonwealth will be able to achieve its progressive solar renewable energy mandates, set forth in its Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS). According to the press release published Thursday; the policy is designed to support solar, while minimizing cost for consumers. The commission voted 5-0 to provide the necessary long-term revenue to support both large- and small-scale solar development and to address other barriers stalling wide-scale adoption and deployment of solar renewable energy throughout the state. More than twenty different parties provided feedback on the original draft statement proposed December 10th, 2009 before yesterday’s announcement.
The Final Policy Statement:
- Defines both large- and small-scale solar projects;
- Recommends using competitive requests for proposals (RFPs) to establish solar renewable energy credit (SREC) values recoverable as a reasonable expense,
- Standardizes contracts for the purchase of SRECs by electric distribution companies (EDCs),
- Establishes a stakeholder working group of electric distribution companies, electric generation suppliers, commission staff, public advocates, solar aggregators, and other interested parties to ensure SREC contracts reflect the most recent developments in Pennsylvania law and energy policy.
- Encourages education of potential SREC sellers about the opportunities to sell them to the electric utilities in support of regional development of solar resources.
- The state Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004 (AEPS) requires EDCs and electric generation supplies to include a percentage of electricity from alternative resources, including solar, in the generation they sell to Pennsylvania customers.
- The Pennsylvania PUC balances the needs of consumers and utilities to ensure safe and reliable utility service at reasonable prices. They protect the public interest, educate consumers to make independent and informed utility choices, further economic development, and foster new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
*For recent news releases, audio of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit their website at http://www.puc.state.pa.us.