AEPS Co-sponsorship Memo Raises Renewables to 30%
Senators Haywood, Santasiero, and Killion issued a bi-partisan co-sponsorship memo for legislation to increase Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) to 30% renewables by 2030, including 7.5% utility scale and 2.5% distributed solar. The Senators also call on the PUC to study the benefits of a renewable energy storage program. The legislation would also provide 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. These improvements to the AEPS will enable PA to start to catch up to neighboring states whose renewable portfolio standards have become far more ambitious than PA’s in recent years.
Nuclear bill Ignites Storm of Controversy
HB 11, calling for $500 million in subsidies to PA’s nuclear industry has touched off a storm of criticism. The Philadelphia Inquirer lays out the issues here.
Community Solar Legislation Introduced
With strong bipartisan support and more than 40 cosponsors, Rep Kaufer (R) introduced HB 531, to enable Community Solar statewide. Community solar will provide access to clean, affordable solar electricity for the 70% of Pennsylvanians who currently do not have a suitable roof, who may not own their homes, or have the capital to invest. At a press conference on February 19th, Reps. Kaufer and Millard spoke about the importance of solar energy to all Pennsylvanians, and Rep. Bullock emphasized that this bill will bring solar energy within reach of low and moderate income people. The Senate is expected to introduce similar legislation very soon.
Solar Installer RFP issued for Solarize Philly
The Philadelphia Energy Authority plans to open Phase 3 of Solarize Philly this spring. In preparation, PEA has issued an RFP for Solar Installers. The deadline is fast approaching: March 25, 2019. Solarize Philly has been very successful, generating demand for solar energy across the city.
Teacher Training for Junior Solar Sprint
Thursday, March 14, 2019 4:00 - 7:30 pm
Friends Center, 15th and Cherry Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Learn how to teach middle school students to design, build and race model solar cars. The Junior Solar Sprint is a national STEM program for 5th – 8th graders and a perfect way to learn how to harness the power of the sun. Experienced trainers will guide you every step of the way. The training is FREE and all teacher training materials will be provided.
Sponsored by the Philadelphia Solar Energy Association
For more information and to register contact: Liz Robinson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Solar PV Installer Training
Start Date: March 11, 2019
FREE to qualified adults 18 and over. This 6 week training is provided by the Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA) and includes OSHA 10, EPA RRP Lead certification, and the NABCEP Solar PV Associate Credential. ECA also provides assistance with job placement to all those who successfully complete the training. Contact Eva Ortiz at email@example.com for more information.
Gov Wolf Announces Climate Initiative for PA
Pa is taking action on climate change with Gov. Wolf’s announcement to set the first-ever statewide goal to cut climate pollution.
Under the executive order signed by Governor Wolf, Pa will work toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2025, and 80 percent by 2050, compared to 2005 levels.
The GreenGov Council will work with all state agencies to reduce energy use in state government and improve the energy efficiency of state buildings and vehicles, saving taxpayers money in the process. The GreenGov Council will serve as a central coordinating body to promote the implementation of the executive order and the achievement of the following state agency performance goals:
Reduce overall energy consumption by 3 percent per year, and 21 percent by 2025, as compared to 2017 levels.
Replace 25 percent of the state passenger car fleet with battery electric and plug-in electric hybrid cars by 2025.
Procure renewable energy to offset at least 40 percent of the commonwealth’s annual electricity use.
“Commonwealth agencies can continue to demonstrate their commitment to both environmental and fiscal stewardship by implementing best practices to reduce energy and resource consumption, improve energy efficiency, realize cost savings, and protect the environment,” said Governor Wolf.
The GreenGov Council will encourage and coordinate the incorporation of environmentally sustainable practices into the commonwealth government's policy, planning, operations, procurement, and regulatory functions, and strive for continuous improvement in efficiency and performance.
The announcement comes at a time when Pa is feeling more harmful impacts from our changing climate, and comes on the same day it was reported that U.S. carbon emissions increased in 2018.
C-PACE in a Box
The draft guidelines for the Commercial PACE Program have been issued. Final guidelines are expected in February 2019. C-PACE is a very useful way to finance energy efficiency, renewable energy and water efficiency improvements on commercial buildings statewide.
Podcast on PA Clean Energy
Liz Robinson was interviewed on Planet Philadelphia, January 4th, about recent accomplishments and upcoming attractions in clean energy policy in Pennsylvania. Give a listen:
Carbon Cap and Trade Petition Filed in PA
The Clean Air Council and more than 100 organizations statewide have filed a petition to the PA Environmental Quality Board calling on the Wolf administration to enforce the PA constitution by implementing an economy wide carbon cap and trade program. The petition includes detailed regulations that call for a cap to be placed on carbon, which would be lowered 3% a year. This would put PA on pace to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Accords and to reach carbon neutrality by the end of the 21st century.
To uphold the Environmental Rights Amendment enshrined in our state constitution, the petitioners urge Governor Wolf to promulgate regulations to implement an economy-wide carbon cap and trade program. The EQB is expected to consider the petition at its April meeting.
Everything You Didn't Know About Nuclear Plant Bailouts
or Call in: (605) 313-4119 — Access code: 210940
PUC Final Order Closes PA Borders Finally!
The PA Public Utility Commission unanimously issued a final order confirming the intent of Act 40 to insure that the solar energy produced in order to meet the requirements of Pennsylvania's portfolio standard is in fact generated in state. This decision will lead to many more solar jobs all across the state. Thanks to Senator Scavello, Governor Wolf, and all those who worked tirelessly to make this happen.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Liz Robinson, PSEA's new Executive Director, received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Energy Conservation from Penn Future in April of 2018.