Guest Blog: This guest blog post from a SolarTown customer who installed a 10.5 kW solar array in West Virginia describes his experience with selling solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) in various states.
We’ve replaced most of the frequently used lights in our house with LEDs (never went with CFLs since the flickering burns our eyes and we don’t like the fact that they contain 35mg of Mercury). In our workshop, we replaced 6 halogen floods (600-900W total draw) with 5 can flood lights totaling 50W. This seems to have made a huge difference in our power draw. Last March, our total consumption was 1353 kWh compared to a bill of ~2100 kWh last year (estimated February actual reading in March).
Solar energy system in West Virginia certified in Pennsylvania and Maryland
As of now, we have our solar energy system certified in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Maryland listed our certification as expiring at the end of this year and not being renewable since we’re out of state, but GATS did not enter a certification end date. We may get lucky and still generate certificates that are valid in Maryland. I still have to get around to sending in the paperwork for certification in DC and supposedly West Virginia is starting to set up an SREC market as well. Unfortunately if we wanted to get certified in Ohio, we’d have to get a utility grade meter for our solar energy system.
When we sold the first 6 SRECs in January, they sold to Maryland for $320 for each SREC while the clearing price in Pennsylvania was only $210. Looking a the auction history, the Pennsylvania prices have indeed gone down from $310 back in May to $100 this past April, while Maryland prices have stayed pretty constant, mostly around $320 with a peak at $360 in December and dropping to $275 in March.
All in all, if we can continue selling to Maryland (seems to be the highest of the eligible markets) then we should be in pretty good shape. Our 7th SREC will be created at the end of this month and eligible in the May auction. We are now already over 8 MWh total generation, so we’re expecting to see 1-2 SRECs for each of the summer months.
Over $10,500 paid off for the solar energy system
Through the generation and SREC sales alone, we’ve already generated about $2,700; and factoring in the tax credits for this year, we’ve already paid off over $10,500 for the installed system.
At this rate, with our conservation efforts, in the summer months we may get to the point where we’re actually generating a credit.