Archive for June, 2010

Connecticut SREC Program On Hold After Governor Rell Veto

Posted June 7th, 2010 by SRECTrade.

Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell vetoed Senate Bill 493, which would pave the way for an SREC Program in the state.  Rell argued that the Bill, titled An Act Reducing Electricity Costs and Promoting Renewable Energy, will fail to accomplish both aspects of its stated intent. The Bill declared that “The Division of Research, Energy and Technology shall, in accordance with the comprehensive plan approved pursuant to section 16a-3a of the general statutes, as amended by this act, (1) increase the state’s energy independence and security by promoting conservation and efficiency and the use of diverse indigenous and regional electric resources; [and] (2) encourage the use of renewable energy resources and new electric technologies, particularly technologies that support economic development in the state and promote environmental sustainability.” While the Bill never directly mentioned SRECs among a wide variety of energy related topics, Rell’s veto will slow the process of the creation of an SREC market in Connecticut.

The Bill’s proponents claim that the legislation would reduce energy costs, spark growth in the state’s renewable energy industry, create jobs, and stabilize the state’s electricity market. Senator Rell argues that these claims are “eerily reminiscent” to those made on a bill in Connecticut a decade ago, which has since failed to reduce utility prices or help spawn renewable energy in the State. Rell claims that the bill “is not in the best interests of the ratepayers or taxpayers of our state.” Rell never directly mentioned any effect on an SREC market, instead attacking the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bill.

The effect of the veto is being felt heavily in the state’s solar power industry. When asked about the prospects of solar power in the state, Mike Silvestrini, president of Middletown-based Green Skies Renewable Energy replied, “There is absolutely zero opportunity in Connecticut without the energy bill. Eventually we will have to make a decision on whether we can remain in this state.” The legislation would have provided the solar industry with incentives to build large projects on commercial facilities, much bigger business than small residential jobs. The idea was to bring in enough business that Economies of scale could kick in and the business could become self-sustaining.

Although Rell has vetoed the Bill, it could still pass if Democrats are able to drum up enough of a majority to override the veto. If they are unsuccessful, any hopes for an SREC market in Connecticut will have to be put on hold until the next round of legislative sessions.

Meanwhile, SRECTrade is exploring ways to help solar owners in Connecticut generate and sell SRECs outside of the state until the government puts a local market together.

New York bill to create NY SREC program

Posted June 4th, 2010 by SRECTrade.

The New York state legislature has proposed a renewable portfolio standard with a solar carve out. Bill No. A11004 in State Assembly and Bill No. S7093 in the State Senate (jointly know as New York Solar Industry Development and Jobs Act of 2010) would require electric suppliers to purchase SRECs for 0.05% of their electric sales 2012, increasing gradually to 2.50% in 2025.

New York has traditionally used solar rebates and utility level solar incentives and is now considering in light of their success in states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The SREC requirement proposed for NY are similar to those enacted in NJ and MD although NY is a significantly bigger population and power consumer. This RPS would dramatically increase the demand for solar renewable energy credits and take some of the pressure of the markets like DC that are currently the only home for the SRECs produce by solar PV installations in New York State.

PA considers strengthening solar requirements in RPS

Posted June 4th, 2010 by SRECTrade.

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. 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.

Deal reached in TransCanada lawsuit against Mass SREC Program

Posted June 1st, 2010 by SRECTrade.

Stakeholders in the Massachusetts solar industry can be relieved to know that a preliminary deal has been reached in TransCanada’s lawsuit against the Massachusetts SREC program.  The lawsuit asserted that the program was unconstitutional on the grounds that it violated interstate commerce laws.  It argued that the exclusion of out-of-state solar facilities from SREC eligibility discriminated against out-of-state electricity providers. In the deal reached with the Department of Energy, electricity supply contracts signed prior to the January 1, 2010 start of the SREC program will be grandfathered in and protected from the requirements.  In return, TransCanada has agreed to drop claims against the state’s solar program.

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