This month Pennsylvania’s government, led by Gov. Tom Wolf (D), took actions to boost the solar power industry and the jobs it will create in the state. Yesterday (Nov. 29) he announced the Solar Energy Program is creating $30 million in grant funding to grow solar in the state, including supporting job training for solar and that he signed into law legislation that changes what qualifies as solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) in the state.
The moves are made to bolster the state’s effort to source 10 percent of its energy from solar power by 2030 through the “Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future.” The project is being led by the Department of Environmental Protection.
“We all have long known that the future of our country and our commonwealth’s energy economy will include a robust renewable energy sector,” Wolf said. “In Pennsylvania we are making sure that the benefits of increased renewable jobs, a cleaner environment, and a growing renewable economy will be felt in the commonwealth and that the environmental benefits of solar generation which are being paid for by Pennsylvania consumers and businesses are experienced here as well.”
The legislation Wolf signed into law bolsters Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act. It requires SRECs to come from resources located in the state. Previously its utilities could source their SRECs from out-of-state resources. Wolf’s office said that practice created an overabundance of credits in the state and the change will ensure that environmental benefits of new solar installations are experienced here in the state.
The grant funding will promote the installation of new solar projects, create jobs and support manufacturing of solar equipment. It will offer loans of up to $5 million to support solar installations and loans of up to $40,000 for solar manufacturing equipment projects. In addition, it will offer $5,000 in grants for every solar job created within three years, according to the Governor’s office.
Wolf’s office also highlighted work that the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is doing to take certain buildings and facilities off-grid. It will have more than 18 solar installations on smaller buildings by the end of 2018, which will save it more than $65,000 annually in electric costs and reduce energy consumption by up to 600,000 kilowatt hours annually.Tweet