Thursday, January 11, 2018

Help Tell The PUC 
To Get The Solar Border Law Right

In an usual show of bipartisan support for clean energy, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed Act 40 in October 2017. The intent of the law was to "close" the solar renewable energy credit (SREC) "border" by permitting only in-state solar systems to qualify for Pennsylvania’s SRECs. Previously, the state’s “open borders” practice allowed systems in 12 other states (and D.C.) to receive our credit. This resulted in an oversupply of SRECs, a loss of investment in Pennsylvania's solar market, and to other states getting solar jobs that should have been created here.

The Pennsylvania Utility Commission (PUC) must now implement Act 40. Unfortunately, in December the PUC took a stunningly bad first step with a tentative implementation order that relies on a flawed legal interpretation of Act 40.  Under the PUC’s interpretation, all existing out-of-state solar systems would be grandfathered and could continue to receive Pennsylvania's SRECs. This legal interpretation is completely counter to the intent of the law and would make Act 40 utterly useless.

PUC Chairman Brown and Vice Chairman Place issued their own interpretation of Act 40 that does accurately interpret the law as it was intended. [Read the Post-Gazette article that nicely details the differences.]

The leaders of PASEIA and SUNWPA sent this letter to the PUC commissioners prior to the release of the tentative order that explains the problem of misinterpreting the law.

We now have until February 6 to submit public comments to the Commission. Here's how you can do that:

1) Add your business/organization name to this sign-on letter that will be submitted to the PUC telling them to accurately interpret and implement the law as the General Assembly intended.

2) Submit individual comments or comments from your business to the PUC electronically (first, set up an individual or corporate account, then log-in and upload your comment file here, docket # M-2017-2631527) OR by sending a letter addressed to: Secretary, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Post Office Box 3265, Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265 referencing docket number M-2017-2631527.

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