Solar energy is growing in Pennsylvania. The Keystone State is diligently working to make solar power a significant part of its renewable energy policy. Solar developers, installers and integrators are migrating to Pennsylvania to capture a growing market share. The key factors that are contributing to Pennsylvania’s SREC market are:
1. Shortage of Installations – The shortage of solar installations in Pennsylvania could be beneficial to short-term SREC pricing. The lack of solar generators in PA could keep SREC prices buoyant as qualified buyers need to procure SRECs to satisfy Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS). This underlying bid could push SREC prices higher if the buyers are forced to pay Alternative Compliance Penalty (ACP). The cap for PA SRECs is 200% of the average market value for SRECs. With Pennsylvania SRECs trading a weighted market value of $297 in October on GATS, this could translate to $594 cap by the end of the energy year.
2. House Bill 80 and Senate Bill 92 – Can establish Pennsylvania as a leader in renewable energy and attract businesses that are environmentally conscious and support the state’s economy. These bills attempt to:
Raise the amount of solar generated electricity sold in Pennsylvania from 0.5% to 3% by 2026. This amount of solar energy will power approximately 438,000 homes;
Increase the amount of electricity sold in Pennsylvania from Tier I clean energy sources, such as wind, from 8 percent in the current statute to 20 percent in 2026 and;
Make enough clean energy to power 2.1 million Pennsylvania homes by 2026;
Extend the timeline for the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) Act to 2026 and strengthen Pennsylvania’s competitive position by sending a strong, long-term market signal for new investment.
Solar energy can also benefit Pennsylvania’s economy. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) estimates that the Advanced Energy Portfolio (AEP) will support over 14,000 jobs in the solar industry, with at least one third by Pennsylvania residents. Source: http://www.PennFuture.org
3. PECO Request for Proposal – PECO is making a concerted effort to promote solar and make projects feasible in Pennsylvania. In October of 2009, the company issued a 6 Megawatt Solar Request for Proposal (RFP) and may enter into fixed agreements if the solar project and prices are right. PECO is committed to reducing, offsetting and displacing harmful emissions and supporting Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS). This RFP will total 80,000 solar alternative energy credits or 8,000 credits per year spanning a 10 year lifetime.
Pennsylvania has the opportunity to implement a competent renewable energy policy. Renewable energy can reduce the Pennsylvania’s addiction to brown power, upgrade electric infrastructure, create jobs and decrease harmful emissions. Progressing thinking and wise actions can steer the state in the right direction and make renewable energy a reality.