PJM exceeds 1 GW of solar power

Capacity has doubled in each of the past two years

Bill Opalka | May 16, 2012

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States that extend from the Mid-Atlantic coast to the Midwest in the PJM Interconnection territory have surpassed 1 GW of solar generation.

PJM said the milestone was reached this month. The transmission operator noted that solar power has more than doubled in each of the last two years. PJM said 1 GW of electricity generated would power between 800,000 and 1 mn homes.
Solar power more than doubled in each of the last two years.

 “We’re now truly harnessing the sun’s power,” Andrew Ott, PJM senior vice president of
Markets said in a statement. “Throughout PJM we are seeing tremendous growth, which aids in meeting the renewable goals of states in our region.”

PJM tracks solar generation by county, with New Jersey having the greatest concentration. With the exception of three northern counties, all counties in the state have at least 50 MW of soalr installed.

Businesses and residences who are able to generate at least one megawatt-hour of power from solar energy can qualify to capture credit for the megawatt-hour as a solar renewable energy credit (REC). The solar REC, or SREC, can be traded or sold to another entity to satisfy its compliance with state goals.

PJM Environmental Information Services (EIS), a subsidiary of PJM, administers the registry, the Generation Attribute Tracking System (GATS), which tracks and records RECs.

PJM also tracks solar not offered to the wholesale market. A portion of the solar generation is considered “behind-the-meter.”

The PJM footprint includes several states with aggressive renewable portfolio standards. Pennsylvania has a carve-out of .5% of generation, which has led to the construction of more than 115 MW.

Overall, approximately 135,000 GWh of renewable energy, or approximately 14% of PJM’s annual net energy output would be required from renewable resources in order to meet the aggregate of various state RPS targets by 2026.

The majority of renewable-powered generating projects currently in PJM’s interconnection queue are wind-powered resources, with 3 GW of capacity under construction this year.

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