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New Law Closes Pennsylvania’s Solar Borders

For those who may want to consider incorporating solar energy into a future or existing project, a new law provides potential incentives. A provision in Pennsylvania’s recently approved Administrative Code mandates that solar energy credits used to satisfy the requirements of the Commonwealth’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act (“AEPS”) now be generated within Pennsylvania. Previously, approved solar credits used to meet the AEPS Act requirements could be generated outside of the state.

The AEPS Act requires that a certain percentage of all electricity sold to Pennsylvania retail customers be derived from alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, hydropower, and biomass. Individuals and businesses that generated electricity using solar power can sell those credits directly or indirectly to electric generating and distribution companies to satisfy the requirements of the AEPS Act. Until now, those entities could purchase credits for solar power generated outside of Pennsylvania. The unintended result was that solar credits flooded Pennsylvania’s  solar credit market, thereby depressing the value of the credits and discouraging the development of solar power within the state.

These in-state credits still must be certified and registered through Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission. Existing contracts for solar credits are not impacted by this new law. Attorneys with Stock and Leader’s Environment, Energy and Environmental Mediation Group are experienced in guiding clients through this process and can assist those seeking to generate and sell solar credits.

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