New Business Coalition Applauds Legislation to Modernize Pennsylvania’s Renewable Energy Goals

“Renewables Work for PA Coalition” Says Bills Aiming for 30% Renewable Energy by 2030 Will Create Tens of Thousands of Jobs, Strengthen Pennsylvania’s Economy

April 10, 2019


Meredith Montalto, Ceisler Media
215-735-6760, 610-322-1703

HARRISBURG– (April 10, 2019)   
The Renewables Work for PA Coalition applauds the introduction of Senate Bill 600, legislation that would update Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) to include a target of 30 percent renewable energy in Tier I of the AEPS by 2030.  The Coalition rallied today with prime sponsors Senator Steve Santarsiero (Bucks County), Senator Tom Killion (Delaware County) and Senator Art Haywood (Montgomery County) at the Capitol in celebration of the Senate bill introduction and anticipation of a House bill to soon follow.  

The Renewables Work for PA Coalition is a newly-formed group of more than 40 renewable energy companies and trade associations advocating for strong state renewable energy policies that will create family-sustaining jobs for residents and drive forward a renewable energy economy in Pennsylvania.  In relation to the Tier I AEPS goal in SB 600, the Coalition supports a minimum goal of at least 10 percent in-state solar energy, with 2.5 percent from distributed solar energy and the exploration of renewable energy storage within the commonwealth.

“The renewable energy industry, and in particular the solar energy industry in Pennsylvania, is strong and poised for explosive growth if the right policy signals communicate that we are open for business,” said Ron Celentano, president of the Pennsylvania Solar Energy Industries Association and proprietor of Celentano Energy Services. “Senators Santarsiero, Killion and Haywood are to be commended for their leadership on this critical effort to position Pennsylvania competitively to attract investment and create tens of thousands of jobs.”

Pennsylvania’s AEPS was enacted by the General Assembly in 2004 with just an eight percent Tier I goal for renewable energy. That target plateaus in 2021, requiring action to increase the target goal during the 2019-2020 legislative session. While gains in wind and solar capacity have been made over the last 15 years, the current amount of renewable energy generation in Pennsylvania accounts for just five percent of the existing energy portfolio. Neighboring states such as Ohio, New Jersey and Maryland all have more robust renewable energy standards and more clean energy jobs.

“Pennsylvania doesn’t have to choose between clean, sustainable energy and a strong economy—we can have both,” Senator Santarsiero said. “For the sake of our health, environment and family sustaining jobs, it’s time to commit to higher renewable energy standards.” 

According to the Department of Environmental Protection’s “Finding Pennsylvania Solar Future Plan,” Pennsylvania has the technical feasibility to develop 10 percent solar by 2030. In addition, the two-and-a-half-year project concluded that the trajectory to 10 percent solar would create 60,000 to 100,000 jobs and could result in a net benefit of over $1.6 billion annually.  

“Senate Bill 600 brings $10 billion of private investment and more than 60,000 jobs to Pennsylvania as it builds out a long-term hedge to energy costs and puts us on track to meet the climate change challenge in the 10-year window we have left,” said Brent Alderfer, CEO of Community Energy Inc., based in Radnor. “That is the new economics of solar, and we are excited to be part of bringing this fastest growing energy source in the world home to Pennsylvania.”  

Joe Morinville, President of Energy Independent Solutions, located in Pittsburgh, added:  “Senate Bill 600 spurs a renewal of our energy distribution and generation system in Pennsylvania, bringing it into the modern era.  It enables and encourages small businesses like mine to add thousands of great paying jobs that cannot be exported overseas.  The future of solar energy is shining brightly today.”

Despite the modest current renewable energy goals in Tier I, Pennsylvania’s clean energy economy boasts over 8,700 existing jobs in renewable energy, according to the 2018 Clean Jobs Pennsylvania report from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) and Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance. Most of those jobs have been added in the past 10 years, and The Solar Foundation determined Pennsylvania has continued to add solar jobs in both of the last two years, despite a national downturn due to federal policies.

Meredith Montalto, Ceisler Media
215-735-6760, 610-322-1703