Action Alert: VA SRECs are in danger. Please submit your comments!

Action Alert: VA SRECs are in danger. Please submit your comments!

The Virginia State Corporation Commission is currently setting the rules for the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA)'s solar carveout, which will affect the value of the VA Solar Renewable Energy Credits.  We need your help to let the SCC know that customer-owned and sited solar (also known as DG, and defined by solar that is behind the meter), is a critical part of the state's transition to 100% clean energy. And they need to know that Solar Renewable Energy Credits are an important incentive to help accelerate this transition.
 
For background: In the VCEA, the solar carveout is the percentage of the 100% clean energy goal that will be allocated to customer-owned solar projects; currently set in the law as 1%.  If the utility does not meet the 1% goal, it will have to pay a fine, currently set at $75 per Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC). But instead of paying a fine, the utility would rather buy the SRECs from solar consumers for a price somewhere less than the $75. This creates a market for SRECs, and gives them value. 
 
The question that the SCC is currently considering is what type of energy qualifies for this 1% carveout. As the VCEA is written, anaerobic digestion is included in that 1%, which means that pig waste from factory farms can qualify—and the utility can buy pig waste for far less than it can buy SRECs from solar customers. This could substantially devalue VA SRECs, or kill the market completely. 
 
Please write to the SCC today and let them know that to maintain a high value SREC, it's important that the SCC reserves the solar carveout in the VCEA exclusively for net metered, customer-owned and sited solar. We also see the opportunity to ask the SCC to increase the floor of the carveout as well, but the main goal is making sure that the carveout is reserved for customer-sited generation.  This is a huge opportunity to make your voice heard and affect the outcome of this process. Please comment today!

Please submit Comments to the SCC before COB 2/12/21. 

The commission is accepting public comments regarding Dominion Energy's filing through Friday. Go this link: https://www.scc.virginia.gov/casecomments/comment/PUR-2020-00134
  • Follow the directions. Fill out the required information, including your name, address, email and other contact information.
  • In the section marked ‘Comments’, explain why the SCC should support Virginians’ ability to go solar. We’ve drafted a message below, but please personalize your message. If you have solar, tell the commission how it has benefitted you and your family. If you don’t have solar, tell the commission you support expanding solar in Virginia.
  • Hit the submit button
Here is a sample email to the State Corporation Commission—please customize based on your personal or organizational goals:

Dear State Corporation Commission Staff and Commissioners, RE: PUR-2020-00134

The solar installed on homes and businesses across the Commonwealth does more than provide electricity. It creates good local jobs. It makes our electric grid more reliable. And, it provides clean energy. Distributed solar owners deserve credits for these benefits.

Distributed solar energy must play a role in Virginia’s 100% clean energy goal as part of the Virginia Clean Economy Act. You can ensure that this happens by taking the following steps:

- Reserve the distributed generation carveout solely for customer-owned and sited net metered solar systems.

- The 1% distributed generation carveout should be a minimum, not maximum amount. This will ensure that more Virginians are able to participate and receive a value for their role in Virginia’s clean energy transition. 

- Increase the carve out by a minimum of 1% of the annual RPS requirement on a yearly basis to ensure maximum economic impact. This is consistent with the economic transition requirements contained in the Virginia Clean Economy Act.

Distributed solar is responsible for creating a majority of all solar jobs in Virginia. More distributed solar means more jobs and local economic growth in our communities. For every 1MW of residential solar, 31 jobs are created. Every kW of distributed solar brings $2,425 in economic activity.

Limiting the types of projects eligible for the distributed generation carveout will make solar more accessible to low-income families and support a more broad portfolio of projects in the Commonwealth.  

Thank you for reading my letter. Please ensure customer-owned solar plays a role in our clean energy mix.

Best Regards,
_______________

Thank you for taking action to protect solar rights!

Please let us know if you have questions or need help with your comments. You can email me directly at bobby@ipsunsolar.com and I'm happy to help! Thanks so much for standing up for your—and all Virginians'—solar rights. We love you, Ipsun Fam!

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