Thursday, June 21, 2012

Letter to Senator Argall re SB1350

Senator Argall,

On behalf of myself, my family and my 11 full time employees, all of which are dependent on the PA Solar Industry, I thank you for introducing a bill that is intended to help our businesses, but I CANNOT support this bill.

There is a problem with both your bill and the Ross bill HB1580 that leaves a huge gaping hole in the PA solar market and needs to be added to this bill.

Any state in PJM may currently dump their excess SREC into the PA market.  This is the real problem with the market.  Currently nearly 30% of all registered systems in PA are from outside of PA.  Systems as far away as Chicago can dump their SRECs into PA and PA ratepayers must cover the cost. 

All of other states in PJM who have active SREC programs have already closed their borders to PA.  Why will PA not close its borders in return?

Today, I have a crew from Pittsburgh, working a few miles from Chicago building a solar array using IN incentives that will sell its SRECs to PA.  It is part of my contractual obligation to register the array in PA.  This crew of PA residents is working 8 hours away from home, kept far from their families, all because of a law that allows IN to exploit PA ratepayers and a government that is unwilling to correct the issue.

It is a better investment for IN residents to invest in Solar and dump their SRECs on PA ratepayers than it is for PA ratepayers to invest in Solar themselves.  This is simply because PA has already factored in a program that is being abused by ALL other states in PJM. 

The Governor has allegedly said he would not sign a bill that includes language that closes the border due to its possible violation of the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution.  The problem is every surrounding state is already violating my rights by this definition, PA refuses to protect my rights and also refuses to stop states like IN, WV and KY from violating them.  Why are you letting this happen?

Please add a clause to SB1350 closing the state borders and protecting PA Jobs and ratepayers. 

If a clause cannot be added then please ask the Attorney General to file suit on all neighboring violators i.e. NJ, MA, DE, MD, DC, NC, and OH.  Every rate payer in PA is having their rights violated by the Governors own admission.

Or introduce a bill with a single purpose of closing the border.  No riders, no increase in AEPS, just close the border.  The clause should state that ‘any state on PJM that has an active SREC program and allows PA SRECs to be sold on their market has reciprocity, any state that bans us from selling is banned from selling in PA’.  This is all PA needs.  The original legislation for AEPS is self-correcting and will work if the border is closed.  Anything else is a bandaid and will leave us back here a year from now.

Again, thank you for supporting solar in PA.  I am sorry I do not support your specific efforts with the language of SB1350.  My concern is we will use all available political capital to force a bill through that has a negligible effect on the market and fails to address our real issues then next year we will come back with hands out again but find no one willing to listen. 

Solar needs to stand on its own and in time can under current legislation if the border is closed.


Joe Morinville
Energy Independent Solutions
535 Clever Road
McKee's Rocks, PA 15136
Office (888) OFF OIL1
Cell (412) 855 7620

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