Posts Tagged ‘pennsylvania srec market’

PA’s Latest Attempt to Increase Solar Requirements – HB 1128

Posted November 12th, 2010 by SRECTrade.

At the end of September, Pennsylvania lawmakers introduced HB 1128. The main focus of the bill is to amend the requirements under PA’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) by increasing the amount of renewable energy to come from Tier I alternative energy sources and Solar Photovoltaic technologies. In addition to increasing the requirements, HB 1128 attempts to amend the program by introducing a fixed alternative compliance payment (ACP) for the Solar PV portion of the AEPS. Currently, the ACP under the PA solar carve-out is derived based on 200% of the average SREC price paid by buyers during the reporting year. The ACP in RY2008 and RY2009 was $528.17 and $550.15 per MWh, respectively. The table below demonstrates the the key changes to the solar requirements, attempting to increase the total requirement 3 times the current level by the 2022 energy year.

HB1128 Table_Crop

Positive Impacts of HB 1128
The increase in PV capacity would help support the growing solar economy in Pennsylvania and provide more room under the current requirements for more solar to come to market. The current PA market has over 2,900 solar projects registered and eligible for the AEPS program. The total nameplate capacity of these projects is equal to 51.8 MW. Of these 2,900 projects only four projects are greater than 1 MW. In addition to being eligible for the PA SREC market, many of these facilities could also be registered in other states such as Ohio and Washington D.C.

The current capacity of solar projects eligible for the PA market is greater than the requirements for the current energy year. The implementation of HB 1128 would allow for the solar market to continue to grow and support the development of projects of all sizes, from small rooftop residential to larger multi-MW utility scale solar systems. Pennsylvania’s inability to implement some sort of amendment to increase the solar RPS requirements could result in a migration of PA’s solar industry to other surrounding states such as New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware which have all recently increased the requirements of their solar RPS programs and maintain fixed alternative compliance payment schedules. It has been estimated that the increase in the AEPS program could create at least 14,000 jobs over the next ten years. A stronger solar policy in PA will not only help create new, clean energy focused jobs, but will help move the state towards a more energy independent future.

Compared to HB 2405, the treatment of out-of-state facilities is not addressed in HB 1128. Though the future acceptance of out-of-state facilities can be left up to the lawmakers to debate, the major problem with HB 2405 was that it excluded existing facilities from neighboring states that have been financed based on being accepted into the SREC program in Pennsylvania. This disregard for the existing out-of-state facilities is unacceptable. Fortunately, HB 1128 does not address this issue. Any future Bill to address this topic should at the very least grandfather in any previously approved facilities.

Negative Impact of HB 1128
Despite the need for an increased requirement, PA HB 1128 may not be the answer because of the low ACPs that are included in the Bill.  It could depress SREC market pricing to levels that could be prohibitive to the economics of solar today.  There are few financeable projects at SREC values below $200, especially when there is limited access to long-term contracts. Compared to other state markets, PA would have the lowest ACP and be heading in the opposite direction of states like Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey that have increased the fines to encourage growth and discourage electricity suppliers from paying the ACP.

Pennsylvania’s Current ACP
Meanwhile, the current ACP in Pennsylvania has not been implemented the way it was intended, which could have an impact on the market in the long run.  The way the law was written, the intent was to fine electricity suppliers 200% of the average SREC purchase price in the PJM region. i.e. keeping them in check with neighboring state markets.  Most likely because this was somewhat vague and difficult to calculate, the ACP was interpreted differently by the organizations implementing the program. Instead of being fined based on neighboring state markets, the interpretation of the ACP was that since Pennsylvania accepted SRECs from throughout the PJM region, it was a fair indication of the average price in the region. Therefore, Pennsylvania uses an ACP of 200% of the average price paid for compliance in Pennsylvania. Instead of keeping buyers in the PA market in check with other states, the ACP in Pennsylvania keeps buyers in check with themselves. The goal for buyers in Pennsylvania is to keep the average price down, so that the fines will remain low in non-compliance years. In reality, the price paid will ultimately have to be just enough to get a project done, though the market would be far more stable if the ACP were implemented as it was originally intended.

Click here for a link to the HB 1128 summary.

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Solar Capacity in the SREC States in 2010

Posted July 28th, 2010 by SRECTrade.

SRECTrade’s State of the SREC Markets in 2010
The New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware Energy Years came to a close on May 31, 2010.  The following is a report of the solar capacity in megawatts (MW) certified and registered to create SRECs in all states at that time.

Solar generators by state located: This table is based solely on the location of the facility and does not include multiple state listings. All facilities must have been registered by May 31st, 2010.
Volume by state

As you can see New Jersey has by far the largest amount of solar installed and eligible for SRECs with 146 MW. Pennsylvania is a distant second at 17 MW.  Meanwhile, Ohio and Illinois are third and fourth respectively, however of the 16 MW in Ohio, 12 come from one facility and of the 10.1 MW in Illinois, 10 come from one facility. Delaware and Maryland both have sizable markets at around 6 MW each. Volumes in other state are much smaller since there is no local SREC market.

Solar generators by size: Projects certified for SREC markets range in size from as small as 0.5 kW to as large as 12 MW, however, only 20 out of the 7,700 projects are over 1 MW.  Of those 20 projects all are well below 5 MW, with the exception of a 10 MW facility in Illinois and 12 MW facility in Ohio. The lack of multi-MW facilities in the SREC markets is a function of both the complexity involved and constraints on demand. The only state SREC market today with any legitimate appetite for multi-MW facilities is New Jersey.

Solar generators by state eligibility: Because some states accept out-of-state SRECs, the in-state supply listed above differs from the total supply available to buyers in that state.  For instance, Ohio’s market also includes facilities located in PA, WV, KY, IN, and MI.  The table below lists the total solar capacity in megawatts eligible for each SREC market, along with the percent of the market that is sourced in-state.  Note: many facilities will be counted multiple times in this table since they are eligible in several states. For example, the 10 MW facility in Illinois is eligible in both DC and PA.

Thurs Table 2 final cropped

In Ohio 89.6% of the market is in-state SRECs. Some of our customers have asked why in-state Ohio SRECs do not sell at a premium because of the 50% in-state requirement. The reason is that, as you can see, buyers are not having difficulty meeting the 50% requirement with the large supply of in-state SRECs. In the future as the requirements increase, in-state SRECs could be harder to come by and may indeed sell for more than out-of-state SRECs.

Interpreting the data: One important thing to notice is that the 2010 Capacity Requirement column details the capacity required to be sustained throughout the entire energy year. The Volume column shows the capacity registered through May 2010. For example, New Jersey needed approximately 160 MW of capacity running on average from June 2009 through May 2010 in order to meet the 2010 SREC requirement. The state is actually farther away from the 160 MW capacity mark than the 145.69 MW volume would suggest.  Capacity in New Jersey grew approximately 65 MW over the course of the year and so there were probably only enough SRECs created to meet approximately 110-115 MW of the 160 MW requirement. That requirement increases in the 2011 Energy Year to approximately 260 MW. For more information on the growth of the New Jersey market and any other state market, please visit our page devoted to State SREC Markets.

Assumptions used in calculations: Solar capacity required is based on 2007 Department of Energy electricity sales figures, assuming a 1.5% growth rate. The resulting solar megawatt-hours required (i.e. SRECs) are converted to megawatt capacity requirement at a rate of 1200 MWhs per MW.