Area solar panel installers say that while the tariff on China may not have a great impact on their business, they are waiting for legislation to pass that would alleviate the volatility in the Pennsylvania solar renewable energy credit (SREC) market.
According to the website, www.mainlinerenewables.com, Pa. House Bill 1580 has many supporters and when passed, it will raise the SREC requirement for utility companies. Initial legislation was too conservative and was put in place with the expectation that the solar industry would not be thriving until at least 2015. However, customers quickly began taking advantage of incentives from the Sunshine Rebate Program and the 30% federal tax credit offered.
Ed Woll, owner of Control Alt Energy LLC in Auburn, reported that the situation in Pennsylvania is that there is an oversupply of SRECS that far exceeds the required demand.
A company called Sol Systems Company cited the problem with solar in Pennsylvania on its website. The site, www.solsystemscompany.com, reported that, at present, state companies only need to purchase 0.5 percent of their solar supply by 2021, leading to an oversupply of SRECs in the state. Also, state utility companies will be required to purchase SRECs only in Pennsylvania for projects in the state. This has also led to an oversupply of SRECs.
Andrew Ciasulli, owner of Sonic Solar Energy in Wind Gap, explains this complex legislation by saying that utility companies are required to buy a certain amount of certificates or SREC’s to show that power was generated from a solar energy system in the state.
“If the bill passes, it will allow the purchase of more credits in Pennsylvania. It’s a supply and demand thing,” said Ciasulli. “Solar grew too fast and crashed the market.”
Toni Lynch, owner of Polysteel Better World Building Technology LLC in Bangor, said that the bill must pass soon in order to keep the solar market going in the state of Pennsylvania.“Solar energy has all but dropped dead in the state of Pennsylvania. Something has to be done,” said Lynch.