The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is set to consider strengthening the renewable portfolio standard next Tuesday. House bill 2405, known as the Clean Energy and Job bill would set the alternative compliance payment to $450, raise the ultimate solar carve out from 0.5% to 3.0% and exclude solar facilities outside of Pennsylvania from qualifying to sell into PA. These change are remarkable for a number reasons:
1. This follows states like NJ and MD who updated their renewable portfolio standards by increasing the SRECs required.
2. PA has a very unique alternative compliance payment which currently resets to twice the average trading price of SRECs in the previous year. This potentially unlimited ACP could potentially be the most forceful incentives to ensure PA utilities actually meet their RPS requirements rather than pay the fine (despite impressive solar development in NJ, NJ utilities dramatically under performed the RPS requirements and paid million in ACP fines last year).
3. It’s unclear whether or not out of state systems currently registered in PA will be grandfathered in and would certainly hinder solar development in states like VA and NC who would likely sell SRECs into PA.
Pennsylvania solar installers, solar trade groups (e.g. msiea.net) and environmental groups (e.g. PennFuture) have all come out in support of the legislation while developer and solar owners within the PJM region (PJM map) might be amongst the naysayers.