Posts Tagged ‘Over-supply’

Last minute push to revive Pennsylvania HB 1580

Posted May 21st, 2012 by SRECTrade.

**Update: As of this writing (Tuesday, June 12th) HB 1580 has not gone up for vote. However, the PA legislator extended the legislation session through the end of June, allowing for some hope that with enough grassroots pressure from supporters of the PA solar industry the bill will go up for vote. PASEIA encourages supporters of HB 1580 to continue to call into the offices of the PA House leadership. The applicable phone numbers are listed below. 

A coalition of solar industry groups led by PASEIA, SEIA, PennFuture and Vote Solar are making one last push to revive Pennsylvania House Bill (HB) 1580 before the close of the work week on Friday, 5/25. HB 1580 was first introduced in October 2011 by Rep. Chris Ross (R-Chester) as a fix for what many in the PA solar industry view as an SREC market with prices trading at unsustainable levels. The bill’s core proposal is to move forward the Pennsylvania SREC requirement by three years – effectively accelerating SREC requirements in an attempt to stabilize the market. A hearing was held in the Pennsylvania House Consumer Affairs Committee in January 2012 and 108 (enough to pass the bill in the House) committed to vote for the bill if it passed out of committee. Lobbyists were also able to garner a substantial amount of support in the Senate.

Why hasn’t the bill passed yet?

Despite the January hearing on HB 1580 the bill was never put up for vote in the House Consumer Affairs Committee. The decision to do so is the responsibility of Committee Chair Rep. Bob Godshall (R-Montgomery) who has taken counsel from stakeholders both for and against the bill.  The coalition of groups supporting HB 1580 emphasize in their communication with stakeholders that HB 1580 is meant to provide support for jobs created by the nascent Pennsylvania solar industry at little to no additional cost to ratepayers. However, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce along along with other groups representing natural gas and other interests are opposed to the bill.  Furthermore, strong pressure for and against the bill has made it a tough topic to address amid the latest election cycle.

Another push

Pennsylvania stakeholders that support HB 1580 have the option to lobby key members of the Pennsylvania legislator to get the bill put up for vote. HB 1580 advocates are encouraged to call the following three members of the PA House leadership.

Pennsylvania Solar Bill Goes to Committee

Posted January 17th, 2012 by SRECTrade.

On Wednesday, 1/11/12, Pennsylvania House Bill (HB) 1580 sponsored by Rep. Chris Ross (R-Chester) was presented to the House Consumer Affairs Committee for debate.  HB 1580 is a proposal to move forward the Pennsylvania SREC requirement to the current compliance requirement for 2015 without changing the overall number of SRECs required after 2015. This would alleviate the over-supply of SRECs and increase the value of Pennsylvania SRECs.  While the hearing was a critical first step for HB 1580, followers of the Pennsylvania solar industry will have to wait on the Consumer Affairs Committee’s vote before the fate of the bill is known. Should the bill make it out of committee it will also need to pass the House and Senate where both the House and Senate have voiced initial majority support for bill.

During the hearing solar industry representatives and solar consumers testified in support of the bill while utility groups and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business spoke against it. The PA Environment Digest put together a detailed account of the testimonies. Generally those in support of the bill argue: 1) that the bill is essential for maintaining highly skilled solar jobs in Pennsylvania; 2) doesn’t increase the overall requirement for SRECs; 3)merely accelerates the requirement and 4) brings Pennsylvania’s SREC market more in line with the design of other SREC markets by closing the market to out-of-state sited systems (currently PA accepts SRECs from anywhere in the PJM region i.e most states in the mid-Atlantic and some states in the Midwest). Utility companies that testified against the bill argue that it would place an undue burden on rate payers by forcing utilities to charge more for the electricity that they supply. According to the PA Environment Digest article, there was some disagreement over the actual cost of the bill to rate payers, but on the high side utilities estimate that it would be an increase of $120 million over four years to four million Pennsylvania rate payers, which equates to an increase of about $3.33 per year to each rate payer.

SRECTrade will continue to closely monitor the development of HB 1580. Stay tuned to our blog for updates.