Cypress Creek solar facility in New York

Study: Solar Energy Could Deliver More Than $1.3 Billion in Savings to Pennsylvania

Pictured above: Cypress Creek community solar facility in New York

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Solar power could provide Pennsylvania consumers with more than $1.3 billion in net energy savings over the next decade if key legislation is passed and signed into law, according to a new study from an independent global economic consulting firm. 

An economic analysis of the long-term benefits of solar power to Pennsylvanians was recently conducted by Charles River Associates, which compared the current state of solar investment with projections under a more favorable regulatory environment. 

“Our analysis found that two legislative proposals aimed at promoting competitive solar energy solutions in Pennsylvania would bring significant long-term financial net benefits to all residential and commercial electricity consumers in the commonwealth,” said Jeff Plewes, Principal in Charles River Associates’ energy practice.” 

Solar is the fastest growing source of electricity in America. 

To date, Pennsylvania has seen nearly $2.5 billion in private investment from solar, with significant growth predicted in the coming years. Recent economic studies, including the analysis from Charles River Associates, show solar can grow at a much faster pace over the next several years with enabling policies. 

“Solar is currently the lowest-cost energy resource for new generation projects, but we need less state regulation to let private industry create more jobs, save more money for consumers and help support family farms,” said Matt Kozey, Director of Community Scale Markets for Cypress Creek Renewables. 

Under proposed competitive procurement legislation, large-scale electric distribution companies would be required to buy a greater percentage of their electricity from new solar generation. This would help to drive down costs through a competitive bidding process, incentivizing solar projects to offer the most competitive rates. 

Separately, proposed legislation would spur new development in community solar by specifically authorizing companies that are not electric distribution companies or electric co-ops to build and operate these facilities. With this legislation in place, mid-scale solar projects could achieve savings through economies of scale and the ability to better align electricity generation with actual customer demand. 

If both legislative proposals were passed and signed into law, the result would be a boom in both solar power and cost reductions for all Pennsylvania consumers, while continuing Pennsylvania's all of the above approach on energy. 

“Our analysis shows that, with these enabling public policies in place, annual solar capacity additions in Pennsylvania would sharply increase from about 200 megawatts this past year to nearly 1,800 megawatts within just a few years,” Plewes said. “That increased capacity translates into lower wholesale energy prices and lower energy costs for consumers. Combined, these proposed policies are estimated to bring between $430 million and $1.32 billion in net benefits to Pennsylvanians between 2024 and 2033.” 

He noted that under the current regulatory environment, significantly fewer new solar projects would be added statewide. 

“This analysis shows that we need true energy freedom in Pennsylvania,” said Kozey. “We need public policies in Harrisburg that will help spur solar investment, put money back in consumers’ pockets and boost the state’s economy.” 

Pennsylvanians Want Solar
86% of Pennsylvanians believe that energy and utility costs in Pennsylvania are getting more expensive. 

61% of Pennsylvanians believe that with prices for everyday goods rising from inflation, it is important for people to have more ways to save money, such as discounts on their electricity bills from solar energy. 

56% of Pennsylvanians believe that solar represents new technology and advances in energy production should be expanded to meet energy needs. 

61% of Pennsylvanians believe that in addition to creating job opportunities in Pennsylvania, solar energy can help lower utility costs for small businesses that can then invest in new and higher paying jobs. 
 

ABOUT CYPRESS CREEK RENEWABLES 
Cypress Creek Renewables is powering a sustainable future, one project at a time. We develop, own, and operate utility-scale and distributed solar and energy storage projects across the United States. With 11GW of solar developed and 4GW under management, Cypress Creek is one of the country’s leading solar and storage energy companies. In every project, Cypress Creek strives to be good neighbors and contribute to the communities where our people and our projects are located. We focus on community engagement efforts in four focus areas: Workforce Development, Economic Development and Community Investment, and Veterans Initiatives. For more information about Cypress Creek, please visit www.ccrenew.com

*Source: Cygnal, Survey of General Election Voters Statewide, February 2022