About Us

A Solar Renewable Energy Credits Aggregator

Meet Our Customers

"Astrum Solar came over and checked my system so that I could get certified for my SRECs. They helped me sell my SRECs and they did all the paperwork for me for my county tax credit, too."

Millersville, MD

Frequently Asked Questions

•  Why should I care about the SRECs my system produces?
•  What are SRECs?
•  What is a Renewable Portfolio Standard?
•  How many SRECs will my solar PV system produce?
•  How does a Renewable Portfolio Standard affect my solar PV system?
•  I have a solar hot water heating system, does that produce SRECs?
•  Are there steps I need to take to have my solar PV system produce SRECs?
•  How do I register my SRECs?
•  When do I begin producing SRECs?
•  How are my SRECs created and tracked?
•  Who needs my SRECs?
•  What are the utility companies’ Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements?
•  Can I just sell my SRECs directly to the utility companies?
•  When should I sell my SRECs?
•  How much are my SRECs worth?
•  How do I know I'm getting a good deal from Astrum Solar for my SRECs?
•  How is Astrum Solar different from a SRECs broker?
•  Ok, I am ready to sell my SRECs, what should I do?

Why should I care about the SRECs my system produces?

Whether you knew it or not when you installed your solar PV system, the electricity produced by your solar panels can make you money in two ways. The primary way of course is through the savings you see on your monthly electrical bill. But there is a second way your solar panels make you money – through the SRECs they produce.

In order to encourage the development of solar energy, many states have recently passed laws (called Renewable Portfolio Standards) mandating utility companies that sell electricity to provide a certain percentage of their power through solar energy or else pay a fine to the state. The utility companies can either build solar plants themselves and/or buy SRECs from homeowners and businesses like you who have already taken the step to go solar. Therefore, the SRECs your system produces can be sold to the utility companies, thus meeting the utilities' obligations and helping reduce the cost of going solar.

What are SRECs?

Solar Renewable Energy Credits, or SRECs, are credits which represent the environmental attributes associated with the generation of 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of emissions-free solar energy from a qualified solar renewable generating facility.

An SREC is in addition to the electricity produced by your solar panels and may be separately bought and sold. When Astrum Solar purchases your SRECs, you retain the full rights to all of the electricity your solar PV system produces.

What is a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard?

A renewable portfolio standard, or RPS, is a regulatory regime designed to encourage the development of renewable energy and, in particular, solar energy. A RPS generally requires that an increasing percentage of all electricity sold by electricity suppliers comes from specific sources of renewable energy. Currently, 30 states, including Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC and West Virginia have a RPS in place.

How many SRECs will my solar PV system produce?

Generally, you can figure out the approximate number of SRECs your solar PV system will produce each year by multiplying the size of your system measured in kilowatts (kW) by 1.2. This factor may vary based upon the actual solar production of your system.

Example: 5 kW system * 1.2 = 6 SRECs produced per year.

The process for determining the exact number of SRECs that your system will produce each year varies by state. In many cases, an engineering estimate is calculated by your local public service commission using PV Watts software which takes into account your system's geographic location (zip code), size, tilt and orientation. Using an engineering estimate allows the owner of small solar PV systems to avoid the inconvenience of tracking and reporting actual production each month. In our experience, these estimates are favorable to the system owner. In other cases, the calculation is based upon your actual electricity production. This means that you will be required to track your monthly solar production using a revenue grade meter or a monitoring system and report those numbers to Astrum Solar each month.

How does a Renewable Portfolio Standard affect my solar PV system?

Each RPS has a solar "carve out" which requires that a certain percentage of all electricity sold in each state be derived from solar energy. Electricity suppliers can meet the solar carve out by either generating and selling the required percentage of solar energy, accumulating the equivalent amount of SRECs that equal the percentage of solar energy they are required to sell under the RPS, or paying a statutory fine called the Alternative Compliance Payment (ACP). When a utility company uses an SREC to comply with the RPS, the SREC is retired and cannot be used again.

I have a solar hot water heating system, does that produce SRECs?

Solar hot water heating systems are not currently eligible to produce SRECs in most states. In Delaware, a solar hot water system is eligible to produce credits only if the amount of electricity produced or displaced by the system is measured by a meter. Most hot water systems do not satisfy this standard and are thus not eligible to produce SRECs. Solar hot water heating systems may be eligible to produce SRECs in Washington, DC. For information about Washington, DC solar hot water heating system SRECs, please give us a call.

Are there steps I need to take to have my solar PV system produce SRECs?

Yes, there are a few steps you need to take to have your system produce SRECs. The first step is to have your solar PV system installed and approved by your local building and electrical inspectors and your interconnection agreement approved by your local utility company. Second, you need to certify your solar PV system with your local public service commission. Then, the SRECs your solar PV system generates are created and tracked. Eventually, the SRECs can be bought and sold. These are all steps Astrum Solar can perform for you to make SRECs production a hassle-free process. Astrum Solar handles your entire SRECs registration free of charge. There are no fees for an application or processing.

How do I register my SRECs?

The first step to begin producing SRECs is to apply to your state public service commission to have your solar PV system certified as a Solar Renewable Energy Facility. Once your solar PV system is certified by your local public service commission, your solar PV system must be registered with the PJM-EIS Generation Attribute Tracking System (PJM-GATS), the renewable energy generation tracking system. The certification process with your local public service commission and the registration process with PJM-GATS can be time consuming and confusing. At Astrum Solar, we handle the entire process from start to finish free of charge for our customers.

When do I begin producing SRECs?

Your system starts producing SRECs on the first day of the month after your solar PV system is operational. Your solar PV system is typically deemed operational when it has been installed, all required building and electrical inspections have been approved and the local utility company has approved the interconnection agreement for the system. This means that if your system is operational on January 5, 2010, you will begin producing SRECs on February 1, 2010. When your system is approved by your local public service commission and registered in PJM-GATS, you will get retroactive credit back to the first day of the month after your solar PV system was operational.

For example, if a system in Maryland is operational on January 5, 2010, but is not certified by the Maryland Public Service Commission and registered in PJM-GATS until March 30, 2010, the system owner will receive retroactive SREC credit beginning on February 1, 2010. However, a system cannot generally receive retroactive credit before January 1 of the calendar year in which it was certified by the local public service commission and registered in PJM-GATS. For example, if a system in Maryland is operational on July 1, 2009, but is not certified until March 30, 2010, the system owner will only receive retroactive SREC credit beginning on January 1, 2010.

In certain states like Delaware and Pennsylvania, your system starts producing SRECs on the first day of the month after the state’s public service commission receives an application for certification, as opposed to the date upon which your system is operational. Since your system will not create credits retroactively, you should get your system certified as soon as possible. As a general rule, no matter which state you live in, the sooner you certify your system, the sooner you will get paid and the more money you will make.

How are my SRECs created and tracked?

The creation and transfer of your SRECs takes place through PJM-GATS. PJM-GATS will monitor the generation of your SRECs and create certificates monthly based on actual or estimated output. When we purchase your SRECs, you will authorize Astrum Solar to create and track the SRECs production from your system, and the SRECs will be automatically transferred to Astrum Solar in exchange for the agreed upon payment to you. If your SRECs production is based on actual production, you will simply have to send us an email every month with your actual production which we will then report to PJM-GATS.

Who needs my SRECs?

Any utility supplier selling electricity in your state is required to comply with your states’ recently passed RPS and can satisfy their state specific RPS solar requirements by purchasing SRECs generated in your state. Generally, only SRECs generated in your state can be used to satisfy your state’s RPS requirement, although in some instances states will accept SRECs from other states if there are not enough SRECs produced in that state in a given year.

What are the utility companies’ RPS requirements?

Delaware
In Delaware, the solar carve out in percentage terms is one of the most aggressive in the nation. It began at 0.011% in 2008 and increases each year until it hits 3.5% in 2026. The Delaware Public Service Commission (PSC) may review the schedule and recommend that the state legislature accelerate or decelerate the schedule as necessary. Beginning in compliance year 2014, and in each year afterward, the Delaware PSC may accelerate or decelerate the schedule given certain market conditions. The yearly solar requirements for Delaware are set forth here.

The ACP per SREC begins at $400 and increases to $450 if the electric utility company has opted to pay the ACP in any previous year. The ACP can then increase further to $500, if the utility company pays the ACP again. The Delaware Energy Office has the authority to review and adjust the solar ACP given certain market conditions.

Maryland
In Maryland, the solar carve out begins at 0.005% in 2008 and increases each year until it hits 2.0% in 2022. The yearly solar requirements for Maryland are set forth here.    

As the solar carve out increases in Maryland, the ACP gradually decreases.

Maryland Yearly ACP per SREC

2011 $400
2012 $400
2013 $400
2014 $400
2015 $350
2016 $350
2017 $200
2018 $200
2019 $150
2020 $150
2021 $100
2022 $100
2023 $50
2024 $50

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, the solar carve out is designed to increase each year until 400 Megawatts (MW) of PV solar is installed, providing approximately 1% of the state’s total electricity supply. When first developed in 2002, the RPS required that 1% of the state’s electricity supply come from new renewable sources by 2003. This percentage then increased by 0.5% each year until it reached 4% in 2009. Starting in 2010, it was set to increase by 1% each year, reach 15% by 2020, and continue until the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) suspends the annual increase.

New Jersey
In New Jersey, the solar carve out is based on the minimum number of gigawatt-hours (GWhs) of energy produced, as opposed to a percentage of total energy produced. The requirement begins at 306 GWhs in 2011 and increases each year until it hits 5,316 GWhs in 2026. In the event of excess solar generation and declining prices for solar renewable energy certificates, the RPS also includes a mechanism that can automatically increase the solar requirement. The current yearly solar requirements for New Jersey are set forth here.

As the solar carve out increases in New Jersey, the ACP is determined according to a rolling schedule; each year the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) reviews the schedule and adds one additional year to the schedule, until the ACP has been set out to 2024. Currently the BPU has only set the ACP schedule through 2016.

New Jersey Yearly ACP per SREC

2011 $675
2012 $658
2013 $641
2014 $625
2015 $609
2016 $594

 

 

 




Ohio
In Ohio, the solar carve out started at 0.004% in 2009 and will increase each year until it hits 0.50% in 2024. It can be satisfied by out-of-state solar facilities; at minimum, however, 50% of the solar energy requirements must be satisfied using in-state solar facilities. The yearly solar requirements for Ohio are set forth here.

As the solar carve out increases in Ohio, the solar ACP gradually decreases from $400 in 2011 to $50 in 2023.

Ohio Yearly ACP per SREC

2011 $400
2012 $350
2013 $350
2014 $300
2015 $300
2016 $250
2017 $250
2018 $200
2019 $200
2020 $150
2021 $150
2022 $100
2023 $100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, the solar carve out began at 0.0013% in 2007 and increases each year until it hits 0.5% in 2021. The yearly solar requirements for Pennsylvania are set forth here.

The ACP for solar PV in Pennsylvania has been set at 200% of the average market value of the solar credits sold during the reporting period and ranged from $50-300 in 2011. You can view the current market prices for Pennsylvania SRECs here.

Virginia
In Virginia, the RPS goals adopted in Virginia are voluntary and do not include any special provisions requiring solar energy. As the state’s standard is non-binding, there is no requirement for utility companies in Virginia to purchase SRECs and thus SRECs have no value in Virginia. Currently, Virginia SRECs have value in other states, as they can be used to satisfy RPS requirements in Pennsylvania and Washington, DC.

Washington, DC
In Washington, DC, the solar carve out began at 0.011% in 2008 and increases each year until it hits 0.4% in 2019. The yearly solar requirements for Washington, DC are set forth here.

As the solar carve out increases in Washington, DC the ACP remains constant at $500 until 2018. Beginning in 2018, the Washington, DC City Council will have the authority to set a new ACP.

West Virginia
In West Virginia, the RPS goals are voluntary and do not include any special provisions requiring solar energy. As the state’s standard is non-binding, there is no requirement for utility companies in West Virginia to purchase SRECs and thus SRECs have no value in West Virginia. Currently, West Virginia SRECs have value in other states, as they can be used to satisfy RPS requirements in Pennsylvania and Washington, DC.

Can I just sell my SRECs directly to the utility companies?

In theory, yes you can. There is nothing to stop you from registering your solar PV system with the appropriate state agencies and selling your SRECs to a utility company serving your state. In reality however, this does not happen. Utility companies need many thousands of SRECs every year to comply with their RPS requirements and are not willing to buy SRECs from individual homeowners or even smaller commercial owners who each produce very small quantities of SRECs every year. Instead, SREC aggregators like Astrum Solar do the work of buying up SRECs from many different small solar PV systems, aggregating the SRECs together, and then negotiating SRECs contracts with utility companies.

When should I sell my SRECs?

Pricing for SRECs is determined largely by the Alternative Compliance Payment, or ACP, that utility companies pay as a fine if they do not acquire enough SRECs.

Delaware
In Delaware, the solar ACP begins at $400 and increases to $450 if the electricity supplier has opted for the ACP in any previous year. The ACP then increases to $500 with subsequent uses. The Delaware Energy Office has the authority to review and adjust solar PV ACP given certain market conditions. Thus, the value of your SRECs will change as the ACP for each company fluctuates. Delaware SRECs are good for three years unless retired earlier.

Maryland
In Maryland, the ACP has been set by the law that created the Maryland RPS. In 2011, the ACP is $400 and starting in 2015, it decreases by $50 every other year until the ACP is $50 in 2023 and each year thereafter. This was done on purpose to reward early solar buyers more than those who wait to purchase solar. Because utility companies need SRECs to satisfy their RPS requirements, the SRECs system was designed to discourage saving SRECs. This means that your SRECs are the most valuable in the year in which they are produced and that the longer you wait to sell your SRECs, the less value you will receive in return. Maryland SRECs are good for three years unless retired earlier.

Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, the solar ACP is currently $550. The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has the authority to review and adjust the solar PV ACP given certain market conditions by January 31 of each year. Thus, the value of your SRECs will change if the ACP fluctuates. In addition to setting this ceiling price, the DOER has set a floor price of $285 per credit at auction ($300 minus a $15 auction fee). In most years, SRECs should sell at prices higher than the $285 per credit floor price. However, if SRECs are not sold by the end of the trading year, they may be deposited into DOER’s Clearinghouse Auction Account, where they will be sold for a price of $285 each.

New Jersey
In New Jersey, the ACP has been set through 2016. Each year from now until 2016, the New Jersey ACP declines by 2.5%, from $610 in 2010 to $594. This was done on purpose to reward early solar buyers more than those who wait to purchase solar. Because utility companies need SRECs to satisfy their RPS requirements, the SRECs system was designed to discourage saving SRECs. This means that your SRECs are the most valuable in the year in which they are produced and that the longer you wait to sell your SRECs, the less value you will receive in return. New Jersey SRECs are good for three years unless retired earlier.

Ohio
In Ohio, the ACP has been set until 2024. In 2010, the solar ACP is $400 and starting in 2012 it declines by $50 every other year until it reaches $100 in 2022. This was done on purpose to reward early solar buyers more than those who wait to purchase solar. Because utility companies need SRECs to satisfy their RPS requirements, the SRECs system was designed to discourage saving SRECs. This means that your SRECs are the most valuable in the year in which they are produced and that the longer you wait to sell your SRECs, the less value you will receive in return. Ohio SRECs are good for five years from the date they are created.

Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, on May 31 of each year, a specific ACP for solar PV is set at 200% of the average market value of the total SRECs sold during the previous energy year. So the ACP, and thus the price of your SRECs, will fluctuate from year to year depending on the average market value in that energy year. Pennsylvania SRECs are good for two years unless retired earlier.

Virginia
In Virginia, since RPS goals are voluntary and do not include any special provisions requiring solar energy, Virginia SRECs do not have value within the state. Virginia residents, however, currently have the ability register to receive and sell SRECs for their solar systems in Pennsylvania or Washington, DC. This means that the value of your SRECs depends on the state in which they are registered.

It is also important to note that the Pennsylvania and Washington, DC and SREC markets are quite crowded, including many SRECs from many other states. This means that the prices you can receive for these SRECs are slightly lower than in-state Pennsylvania or Washington, DC SRECs. There have been proposals in both Pennsylvania and Washington, DC to limit or eliminate the ability to use out of state SRECs which would have a severe adverse impact on the value of Virginia SRECs so you may want to sell them quickly.

Washington, DC
In Washington, DC, the ACP has been set until 2018 by the law that created the Washington, DC RPS. From 2008 to 2018, the ACP is set at $500 per SREC. Even though the ACP remains the same, SRECs in Washington, DC only last for three years, so your SRECs will generally be most valuable in the year in which they are produced.

West Virginia
In West Virginia, since RPS goals are voluntary and do not include any special provisions requiring solar energy, West Virginia SRECs do not have value within the state. West Virginia residents, however, currently have the ability register to receive and sell SRECs for their solar systems in Ohio, Pennsylvania or Washington, DC. This means that the value of your SRECs depends on the state in which they are registered.

It is also important to note that the Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC and SREC markets are quite crowded, including many SRECs from many other states. This means that the prices you can receive for these SRECs are slightly lower than in-state Ohio, Pennsylvania or Washington, DC SRECs. There have been proposals in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC to limit or eliminate the ability to use out of state SRECs which would have a severe adverse impact on the value of West Virginia SRECs so you may want to sell them quickly.

How much are my SRECs worth?

There is no fixed market price for your SRECs and the value varies from state to state. Rather, the value of your SRECs is based on several factors including the percentage of the solar carve out under the RPS in any given year, the then current value of the ACP and the level of supply and demand for SRECs in your state.

How do I know I'm getting a good deal from Astrum Solar for my SRECs?

We have made a commitment to offer the best value for SRECs in the areas in which we operate. Our long-term view of the SRECs marketplace allows us to offer significantly higher prices than anyone else in the market. We believe that by aggregating more SRECs than any other company in the region we can negotiate the best prices from the utility companies. Our goal is to aggregate as many SRECs as our funding allows.

But don't just take our word for it, explore the marketplace for yourself. Talk to your installer and ask who they recommend. Let us know if you find a better offer. Just please don’t wait and let your SRECs devalue or expire.

How is Astrum Solar different from a SREC broker?

When you sell your SRECs to Astrum Solar, we pay you the value of the credits in cash and take full ownership of the credits. When you sell your SRECs to us, there is no brokerage fee. Your SRECs revenue is guaranteed at a fixed price.

On the other hand, a SRECs broker will only arrange to sell your SRECs to another company and then take a percentage of your profit for itself. A broker will not guarantee you a price so your price may vary greatly from year to year. Astrum Solar is able to consistently offer you the best overall value for your SRECs by eliminating this step.

Ok, I am ready to sell my SRECs, what should I do?

Fill out the online quote request so that we can prepare a personalized quote. The quote will value your SRECs using the appropriate adjusted basis for whatever your size system produces. Once you decide to move forward, we will execute a short contract and take care of the rest of the paperwork necessary to transfer your SRECs to us. And, when it is time, we will mail you a check.

Maryland % of Electricity from Solar Energy

2010 .025% 2014 .3% 2018 .9% 2022 2.0%
2011 .05% 2015 .4% 2019 1.2% 2023 2.0%
2012 .1% 2016 .5% 2020 1.5% 2024 2.0%
2013 .2% 2017 .55% 2021 1.85%

 

Pennsylvania % of Electricity from Solar Energy *

2007 .0013% 2011 .0203% 2015 .1440% 2019 .3900%
2008 .0030% 2012 .0325% 2016 .2500% 2020 .4433%
2009 .0063% 2013 .0510% 2017 .2933% 2021 .5000%
2010 .0120% 2014 .0840% 2018 .3400% 2022 .5000%

 

* Years are based on a June 1 through May 31 period. For example, 2010 represents the 12 months of June 1, 2009, through May 31, 2010.

The ACP for solar PV in Pennsylvania has been set at 200% of the average market value of the solar credits sold during the reporting period. The current ACP is approximately $500, but is subject to constant change. You can view the current market prices for Pennsylvania SRECs here.

Delaware % of Electricity from Solar Energy *

2010 .014% 2016 1.0% 2022 2.5%
2011 .018% 2017 1.25% 2023 2.75%
2012 .02% 2018 1.5% 2024 3.0%
2013 .04% 2019 1.75% 2025 3.25%
2014 .06% 2020 2.0% 2026 3.5%
2015 .08% 2021 2.25%


* Years are based on a June 1 through May 31 period. For example, 2011 represents the 12 months of June 1, 2010, through May 31, 2011.

Washington DC % of Electricity from Solar Energy

2008 .011% 2012 .07% 2016 .21% 2020 .40%
2009 .019% 2013 .10% 2017 .25% 2021 .40%
2010 .028% 2014 .13% 2018 .30% 2022 .40%
2011 .04% 2015 .17% 2019 .35% 2023 .40%

 

New Jersey GWhs % of Electricity from Solar Energy *

2015 965 GWhs 2020 2,164 GWhs 2025 4,610 GWhs
2011 306 GWhs 2016 1,150 GWhs 2021 2,518 GWhs 2026 5,316 GWhs
2012 442 GWhs 2017 1,357 GWhs 2022 2,928 GWhs
2013 596 GWhs 2018 1,591 GWhs 2023 3,433 GWhs
2014 772 GWhs 2019 1,868 GWhs 2024 3,989 GWhs


* Years are based on a June 1 through May 31 period. For example, 2011 represents the 12 months of June 1, 2010, through May 31, 2011.

Ohio % of Electricity from Solar Energy

2013 .09% 2017 .22% 2021 .38%
2010 .01% 2014 .12% 2018 .26% 2022 .42%
2011 .03% 2015 .15% 2019 .3% 2023 .46%
2012 .06% 2016 .18% 2020 .34% 2024 .50%