PUC Issues Tentative Order Changing Eligibility For Solar PV To Qualify For AEPS, Geographic Limit
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has issued a Tentative Implementation Order for Act 40 of 2017, which would establish 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).
According to the PUC, 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, the PUC said
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 carve-out.
The Tentative Implementation Order approved by the Commission 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) would continue to qualify, regardless of location. 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.
Generally, Act 40 requires that a solar system must be "directly connected" to a utility within Pennsylvania to qualify for AEPS.
A joint statement by Chairman Gladys M. Brown and Vice Chairman Andrew G. Place requests comment on alternative interpretations of the geographic limit
Under the supplemental interpretations offered by Chairman Brown and Vice Chairman Place, qualifying solar 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.