HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved a Final Implementation Order for Act 40 of 2017 (Act 40), formally establishing new qualifications for systems that qualify for the solar photovoltaic (solar PV) requirements under the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) Act. Previously, the Commission sought comment on tentative interpretations of certain provisions of Act 40.
In approving the final order, the Commission voted 5-0 to adopt a joint motion by PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown and Vice Chairman Andrew G. Place reaffirming the law’s provisions to “close the borders” for Tier 1 solar credit qualifications; thereby eliminating eligibility for certain out-of-state facilities.
“The Commission is clarifying Act 40 implementation in a way that has broad-based support among stakeholders and is consistent with legislative intent,” said Chairman Brown. “As other states that have passed similar legislation have recognized, this is an important tool for Pennsylvania to promote environmental stewardship and economic development.”
Chairman Brown noted that today’s motion still enables some out-of-state facilities - specifically facilities already certified as AEPS Tier 1 Solar Photovoltaic and having contracts with a Pennsylvania utility, supplier, load serving entity, electric or municipal cooperative for the sale of solar credits – to maintain certification until those contracts expire. Additionally, any out-of-state Tier 1 solar credit generated before Oct. 30, 2017, retains its Tier 1 solar attribute for the banking life span enumerated in the AEPS.
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 Final 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.
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.
Visit the PUC’s website at www.puc.pa.gov for recent news releases and video of select proceedings. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. Search for the “Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission” or “PA PUC” on your favorite social media channel for updates on utility issues and other helpful consumer information.
# # #
Docket No.: M-2017-2631527