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PUC Issues Tentative Implementation Order for Act 40 of 2017; Seeks Comment Regarding Qualification of Solar Photovoltaic Systems

December 21, 2017

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved a Tentative Implementation Order for Act 40 of 2017, which establishes geographical limits for solar photovoltaic (solar PV) systems that can qualify for the solar PV requirements under the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS).

Today’s action, approved by a 5-0 vote by the Commission, details a proposed interpretation of Act 40, along with the implementation process, and seeks comment from interested parties.

Additionally, a joint statement by Chairman Gladys M. Brown and Vice Chairman Andrew G. Place requests comment on supplemental interpretations of certain provisions of Act 40, which reflect a more narrow interpretation of the law, effectively “closing Pennsylvania’s borders” and fostering in-state solar development.

Pennsylvania’s AEPS Act requires Electric Distribution Companies (EDCs) and Electric Generation Suppliers (EGSs) to source a specific percentage of electricity from alternative resources in the generation that they sell to Pennsylvania customers. That percentage increases annually, and will require 0.5 percent of the electricity supplied by Pennsylvania’s EDCs and EGSs to come from solar PV resources by 2021.

While Act 40 does not change the solar requirements under the AEPS Act, it does modify the requirements that facilities must meet to qualify for Pennsylvania’s solar PV carveout. 

The Tentative Implementation Order approved by the Commission today addresses the eligibility of existing and future solar PV systems. 

Under the Commission’s Tentative Order, solar systems that received a Pennsylvania certification to meet solar PV requirements prior to Oct. 30, 2017 (the effective date of Act 40) will continue to qualify. Systems receiving certification after that date must meet the geographical limits established by Act 40 to qualify for solar PV credits, or meet one of the qualifying criteria such as an existing contract.

Under the supplemental interpretations offered by Chairman Brown and Vice Chairman Place, qualifying facilities must be located within Pennsylvania – with no “grandfathering” of out-of-state facilities that were certified prior to October 30, with comments requested regarding treatment of already generated or ‘banked’ credits from out-of-state facilities.

The Tentative Implementation Order will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and posted on the PUC’s website.  Additionally, copies of the Order will be distributed by the PUC’s Office of Competitive Market Oversight (OCMO) to OCMO’s Committee Handling Activities for Retail Growth in Electricity.

Written comments should be submitted within 30 days of publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Comments should reference Docket No. M-2017-2631527. They can be filed through the Commission’s e-File System, or sent to the following address:

Secretary Rosemary Chiavetta
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
400 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

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Docket No.:   M-2017-2631527

Contact:Nils Hagen-Frederiksen
Press Secretary

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
Press Office
P.O. Box 3265, Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265
(717) 787-5722 FAX (717) 787-4193

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