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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 12, 2021 04:51 PM
From: Senator Steven J. Santarsiero and Sen. Carolyn T. Comitta, Sen. Art Haywood
To: All Senate members
Subject: Modernizing Pennsylvania's Renewable Energy Standards
Global climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing our generation. It has already had significant impacts on the environment, from rising sea levels to more extreme weather events, costing businesses, governments and taxpayers billions of dollars. Pennsylvanians are feeling the effects of climate change more and more – especially in the form of extreme rainfall and flooding. It is long overdue that we implement stronger renewable energy goals to create good jobs, cut pollution and ensure a sustainable and prosperous Pennsylvania for future generations.

While the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act (AEPS) was a forward-looking policy when enacted in 2004, neighboring states with stronger energy standards have surpassed us – creating thousands of new, family-sustaining jobs and cutting emissions in the process. In fact, over the last two years, Maryland (50%), New Jersey (50%) and New York (70%) all significantly increased their renewable energy standards by 2030.

There is a clear opportunity cost of not taking greater advantage of the environmental and economic opportunities that the renewable industry supplies. With the AEPS percentage requirements set to plateau in 2021, the state needs to take this opportunity to set more aggressive, long-term targets to realize the economic and environmental potential of solar and wind energy in the Commonwealth.

Therefore, we plan to introduce legislation to keep Pennsylvania competitive with surrounding states by setting realistic and achievable renewable energy requirements through the AEPS.

Specifically, our legislation:
  1. Expands the AEPS Tier I requirement from 8% to 30% by 2030, including 7.5% for in-state grid-scale solar and 2.5% for in-state distributed generation solar;
  2. Directs the PUC to study the benefits of a renewable energy storage program;
  3. Provides for several protections that control costs for electricity customers, including long-term contracting, fixed ACP payments, and a 15-year lifetime limit for generating eligible SRECs for solar projects.
It is time we tap into the enormous benefits from increasing our renewable energy goals and re-establish Pennsylvania as a clean energy leader. Failing to do so would effectively shut the door on thousands of new jobs throughout the state. Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation for Pennsylvania to remain competitive in America’s renewable energy economy.

Introduced as SB300