RPS expansion passes another step

By Ben Delman on June 7, 2016

Good news from the Wilson Building. Earlier today, the D.C. Council voted to expand the District’s Renewable Portfolio Standard by a unanimous voice vote. This vote means the bill passed the first reading. It will have to again be voted on by the Council before it goes on to the Mayor.

The bill, (Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Amendment Act of 2016, DC – B650), would increase DC’s RPS to 50% and solar carve out to 5% by 2032. To do this, the bill maintains the District’s $500 alternative compliance payment (ACP) until 2023. The will lead to higher values for solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) generated by solar systems in the District. This improves the economics of solar, allowing more D.C. residents to go solar and decreasing the payback period for current solar customers. After 2023, the ACP will step down and the value of SRECs will decrease.

D.C.’s current RPS requires that the local utility procure 20% of its electricity from renewable sources and 2.5% of its electricity from solar by 2023. This law created the District’s market for renewable energy credits (RECs). Solar owners can sell RECs to help pay off the cost of their system. D.C.’s RPS has been instrumental in growing the District’s solar market and expanding solar access across the city.

Last month, DC SUN testified in favor of expanding our RPS. You can read our testimony here.