House Bill number 2405, currently waiting for review in the PA house of representatives, contains many changes that would significantly alter the PA SREC market. The Bill has yet to be subjected to a vote, largely because its supporters understand that the bill is a solid 10-15 votes shy of the 102 votes it would need to pass the 203 person house of representatives in Pennsylvania. The House is currently not in session, so the Bill remains stagnant for now, and is most likely not to be voted on before the legislative period ends in November.
Notable changes in the Bill include a six-fold increase in the solar requirement for utilities. The requirement is currently slated to reach .5% by the 2024-2025 energy year, but would be 3% in this same year if Bill 2405 were passed. The Bill would also set an SACP of $450 per credit starting in 2011, decreasing by 3% each year. The SACP as currently stated in PA is double the average price of SRECs in the state for each year ($550 for 2010). The bill would also close the Pennsylvania SREC market, limiting buyers to SRECs exclusively from in-state solar facilities. Each of these changes is geared toward promoting the growth of the solar industry in Pennsylvania, keeping the job creation and other economic benefits local.
Changes from this bill, if it is passed, would be scheduled to be put in place on December 31, 2010. Regarding systems from out of state that have already been approved for the Pennsylvania AEPS program, unfortunately, if this legislation passes, buyers will be unable to purchase SRECs from out-of-state, even if they have previously been accepted into the Pennsylvania AEPS program. The pending legislation states the change shall apply to “all contracts and short-term purchases made after December 31, 2010.”
This Bill is still a long way from being passed. In order to become law, the Bill would need to gain the extra 10-15 votes it needs in the PA House of Representatives, presumably through key revisions, and then pass the state Senate as well. Because the representatives are currently on summer recess, these changes do not appear to be imminent, but could be on the horizon.
Here is a table detailing the changes made by PA HB 2405, and comparing them to the market under current legislation:
For more information, click here to see the entire Pennsylvania House Bill No. 2405