Tuesday, June 7, 2011

PA Sunshine Program BEST in Nation

The PA Sunshine program is the most successful state solar program in the nation. But its funds will be exhausted by July.

Here are the impressive numbers:

PA Sunshine will  build about 90 megawatts of solar PV in more than 6,000 solar projects around the state.

How much is that?  90 megawatts is enough electricity for about 11,000 homes.  And through 2008 Pennsylvania had about 4 megawatts of solar.

The Pa Sunshine program also supported successfully hundreds of great solar thermal projects or using the sun to heat water.

PA sunshine leveraged conservatively $450 million of economic activity by securing about $3.50 of private matching funds for every state dollar.

PA Sunshine did all that with one of the lowest solar incentives in the nation of roughly $1.10 per watt.

PA Sunshine drove down the price of solar with the median residential solar PV price falling from over $7 per watt in 2009 to now about $5.50 per watt.  Commercial solar projects are priced in the $3.50 to $5.00 range.

And the timing of the program was perfect.  It created thousands of jobs just when the people of Pennsylvania needed them. It came to market just when the global solar boom took off and solar prices began to fall significantly.

But its $100 million initial budget will be exhausted in July after the program has operated since its opening in May 2009.

PA Sunshine, a tremendous value, should receive another $25 million to keep the momentum going.

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