Resulting from an over-saturated solar renewable energy credit (SREC) market, over the past several months DC has experienced rapidly declining SREC values. To help stabilize the market and ensure continued development of solar resources, diverse stakeholders have rallied around the Distributed Generation Act of 2011. On July 12th, the calls of local residents and businesses were answered with the unanimous passage of this legislation.
Importantly, this Act will both increase the solar requirements beneath DC’s RPS and will require that compliance with these objectives is achieved through the development of local solar facilities. Not only do these provisions send a clear message that DC is serious about harnessing the rapidly growing solar energy economy, but will help to balance the market and offer long-term stability for solar businesses and those looking to go solar.
Whereas DC’s previous solar requirements called for roughly 50 MW of solar capacity located anywhere in PJM by 2020, the DG Act of 2011 will stimulate a DC-specific market that is over 300 MW in size by 2023. Significant indeed.
DC Councilmembers should be commended for their leadership and for listening to the thousands of DC residents and businesses that spoke up in favor of making the District a solar leader. With increased talk about expanding solar opportunities even more by enabling innovative arrangements such as community solar, there is no doubting that DC is eager to tap the power of the sun.