Friday, January 13, 2012

The cost of HB1580 is less than the cost of doing nothing.


The cost of HB1580 is less than the cost of doing nothing.  

If PA fails to shore the SREC market, my company and companies like mine, representing over 6000 direct PA jobs and countless indirect PA jobs, will necessarily leave the state due to lack of work here.  My company is already actively working in OH and looking at projects in IN, MD and NY.  

If nothing is done, SRECs will stay very low for another 2-4 years which in turn will cause solar development to be very slow.  By 2015-2016, current mandates will create a shortage like we saw in 2009-10, which drove the SREC price over $300.  When this happens, there will be no PA installers left to build the systems needed to meet the curve.  By this time the curve is 3X what it is today and will be insurmountable for a company like mine to grow fast enough to meet this demand.  What will instead happen is NJ and CA installers will come to PA and build a series of 10-30MW plus arrays which will fill the market void.  Then they will leave with their jobs and the tax revenue that could have been generated from them.  All PA will have is higher utility rates and fields of solar panels.

Building 10MW in one location creates 50 jobs for 1 year for some NJ company.  Building the same 10MW in 10kW-250kW increments will keep 50 jobs full time for 5 years for a PA company like mine.  HB1580 allows us to continue to build solar for individuals and small businesses which creates jobs and generates tax revenue.
So the choice not to act has a real cost.  It is a loss of jobs, tax revenue and private investment.  

The failure to act now will COST PA far more than the passage of HB 1580.

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