November 16th, 2012
William Nelson of Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and Brad Browery of SRECTrade know Solar Renewable Energy (SREC) Markets like the back of their hands. Maybe better. They joined us for the latest edition of our Get Some Sun webinar series to offer their insights on the diverse and often complex nature of SREC markets. If you missed it or liked it so much you want to watch it again, here is the full recording for your viewing pleasure …
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March 7th, 2012
Maryland policymakers are considering two bills that would kick solar growth into high gear.
With a solid 2% solar goal and core policies like net metering driving in-state growth, Maryland is already well on its way to building a robust solar market. As costs have come down and the local industry has scaled, solar has been installed at a rapidly growing pace – in fact, faster than was expected when the solar statute was originally designed. As we’ve seen in Pennsylvania, a state in this high-growth situation can run the risk of a significant SREC oversupply as solar generation exceeds the utilities’ SREC requirements. This sends a once-booming solar market into a bust cycle that’s no good for local job retention and continued solar investment. » Read the rest of this entry «
September 27th, 2011
With all kinds of new data out there demonstrating U.S. solar growth (here, here and here), we wanted to offer our insights into how these successes are playing out in one of our key campaign states: Pennsylvania.
Over the past couple years, Pennsylvania has become a real solar powerplayer. Having developed over 100 MW of solar PV, PA is a leader in terms of installed solar and the jobs it creates. In fact, last year’s Solar Jobs Census ranked the state second in the nation behind California for number of solar jobs. We eagerly await the 2011 results.
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August 25th, 2011
OK, so not exactly the Northeast but close enough. More importantly, Ohio’s solar market is very similar to those of neighboring states in that it is premised upon a RPS solar carve-out. 0.5% of Ohio’s total electricity supply by 2024, that is; half of which must be derived from in-state solar resources.
As we reported on back in March, there has been some solar trouble in Ohio. At that time, First Energy Corp had filed force majeure claiming they were unable to locate and secure a sufficient number of Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) to satisfy its 2010 solar obligation. Remarkably, this was the second year in a row First Energy filed for force majeure despite *good-faith* efforts. Two years of force majeure? Seems like there’d need to be a whole lot of good-faith going on. We’re not buying it. Again, our previous reporting details our doubts. » Read the rest of this entry «
July 21st, 2011
Following last week’s posting on the recent developments in Connecticut, this week we head south to explore the latest and greatest coming out of the State of Maryland. Other than summer crab feasts on the Chesapeake Bay, that is.
Maryland – Building strong market fundamentals
Requiring all electricity suppliers to secure at least 2.0% of their retail sales from solar facilities by 2022, Maryland is positioned to develop more than 1,250 MW of solar capacity over the coming decade. Importantly, beginning in 2012 solar facilities must be connected to the distribution grid serving Maryland in order to satisfy compliance with the state’s RPS requirements. As such, the state’s solar policy will truly stimulate local opportunities for Marylanders.
And while Maryland has established and maintained important foundations to stimulate growth in the solar energy economy (e.g., see here), the absence of some critical market fundamentals has the potential to frustrate new solar development.
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May 23rd, 2011
With a solar renewable energy credit (SREC) market on the verge of shambles and a plummeting SREC price, Pennsylvania is in desperate need of a fix (details here). Fortunately, the state’s local solar industry has just the tool to fix it.
Vote Solar, the local industry and other state advocates are on the eve of launching a critically important campaign to ensure that the Commonwealth can maintain its position as a solar leader and provide various opportunities to harness the sun. » Read the rest of this entry «
September 21st, 2010
While lawmakers deliberate over the fate of Pennsylvania’s solar industry, the state’s Public Utility Commission remains engaged in its own efforts to provide a stable foundation for solar energy growth.
Just last week, the Commission released a long awaited policy statement and voted 5-0 to establish long-term revenue stability for the development of both large and small-scale solar projects within the Commonwealth. Amid a dynamic and growing Mid-Atlantic solar market, Pennsylvania’s solar progress has been handicapped by issues of SREC price uncertainty, one of the primary sources of revenue for solar projects in the state. Aiming to make PA the regional solar powerhouse it should be, more than 20 parties submitted comments on the draft policy issued by the PUC in late 2009.
The full policy statement (all 47 pages) can be found here. For those who already have plenty of bedtime reading, highlights include:
- Defines large and small-scale solar projects;
- Recommends using competitive requests for proposals to establish SREC values recoverable as a reasonable expense;
- Standardizes contracts for the purchase of SRECs by electric distribution companies;
- Establishes a stakeholder working group of electric distribution companies, electric generation suppliers, Commission staff, public advocates, solar aggregators and other interested parties to ensure SREC contracts reflect the most recent developments in Pennsylvania law and energy policy; and
- Encourages education of potential sellers of SRECs about the opportunity to sell these solar attributes to the electric utilities in support of regional development of solar resources.
With lawmakers considering amendments to PA’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards to triple the amount of solar generation developed within the state (voice your support here), any legislative action is likely to have significant ramifications for the PUC’s solar policy statement – especially in regards to the issues that the stakeholder working group will address.
Let’s just hope that the vision of Pennsylvania’s lawmakers and regulators is a shared one…