Company plans to acquire 500,000 credits over four years and offer them to customers.
PPL electricity customers concerned about climate change may soon have an opportunity to help save the environment with $2.50 and a piece of paper.
PPL Corp. filed a proposal with the state Public Utilities Commission to allow customers to buy renewable energy credits – not actually renewable energy – through renewable energy marketer and developer Community Energy.
The Allentown-based company proposes to acquire about 500,000 credits over four years and offer them to customers in 100-kilowatt-hour blocks for $2.50. While customers are not actually buying renewable energy, “that money … goes to support the development of renewable sources electricity,” PPL spokesman Ryan Hill said. “Customers will get at the end of the year a certificate saying these credits have been retired on your behalf.”
A credit is created when 1 megawatt-hour – or 1,000 kWh – of renewable energy is produced and introduced to the regional power grid, he said. The 500,000 block will come from hydroelectric and wind power.
State law requires that by 2010, 9 percent of a utility’s energy portfolio must come from renewable sources, he said, which is tracked by the number of credits a utility owns. PPL will need about 3 million credits to meet the requirement, he said, and the company will put toward that goal the remainder of 500,000 credits not bought by customers. Those credits can be banked for two years, he said. The percentage required will double in a decade.
Though a confidentiality agreement between PPL and Community Energy prohibited him from discussing the actual contract, Hill said PPL would not be profiting on the deal. “It’s a strict pass-through,” he said.
“It’s going to provide an early incentive for renewable energy developers to build renewable energy projects” that customers can’t support under PPL’s current rate structure, Hill said.
Community Energy, which built the Bear Creek Wind Park on Bald Mountain in Bear Creek Township, offers power in 100-kilowatt-hour blocks at a premium of 2.5 cents per kWh over the rates customers pay utilities.
By Rory Sweeney
26 January 2008
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