Friday, 6/13/2014, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed Ohio SB 310, bringing about major changes for Ohio’s renewable energy economy. Most importantly, the bill will place a two year freeze on Ohio’s Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements and end Ohio’s in-state purchasing requirements for SRECs. Pro-business and pro-utilities interests insist that the original legislation set unrealistic goals and placed unnecessary economic strain on Ohio ratepayers, despite evidence that the costs were less than $5 annually per household.
Here are the details of how this bill will affect SREC producers in and around Ohio:
- Ohio RPS requirement frozen at 2014 levels through 2016. The original RPS schedule will resume with a two year delay after the freeze. The adjusted schedules are detailed in the following table:
- Ohio’s Solar Alternative Compliance Payment (SACP) will be similarly frozen at 2014 levels through 2016. The SACP is currently set at $300, and after 2016 will begin to decline by $50 every two years to reach a minimum of $50 by 2026.
- The 50% in-state purchasing requirement for SRECs has been eliminated. All of Ohio’s SRECs may now be purchased from adjacent states.
Because the freeze on the RPS and SACP requirements is set to this year’s levels, impacts of these changes will not be felt until the beginning of 2015. The end of the in-state purchasing requirement, however, is effective immediately.
Though presented as a bill to buy time for Ohio’s legislature to discuss a responsible path forward for their state’s renewable energy economy, SB 310 is a significant step in the wrong direction for Ohio’s renewable energy future.