Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 20041 (AEPS Act) requires electric distribution companies (EDCs) and electric generation suppliers (EGSs) to ensure that by 2021 at least 18% of the total electricity supplied in Pennsylvania is generated from qualified alternative energy resources.
The AEPS Act identifies the energy resources that are eligible for consideration in the program. These resources are classified into two groups, Tier I and Tier II resources. Additionally, although solar photovoltaic is a Tier I resource, it has a standalone requirement. For each reporting period, the EDCs and EGSs are required to acquire and retire Alternative Energy Credits (AECs) in quantities equal to a percentage of their total retail sales of electricity in Pennsylvania. This percentage gradually increases each year, through 2021.
The AEPS Act was amended by Act 40 of 2017 that was signed into law on October 30, 2017. This amendment does not allow solar alternative energy credits generated by solar facilities outside of Pennsylvania’s borders to be used to satisfy Tier I Solar obligations. There are exceptions for certain existing contracts that have been reviewed and approved for use by the Commission. Analysis shows that sufficient solar AECs are expected to be available for Solar PV compliance if new solar electricity generation facilities are developed in Pennsylvania at the current pace.
This is good news as Audubon Pennsylvania champions HB 531 and SB 705 to provide community solar across the commonwealth to create jobs, increase access to renewable energy, decreases greenhouse gas emissions, and protect birds and the places they live. For more information, click here.