PJM Interconnection this month passed the one gigawatt (GW) one billion watts milestone for solar power installed in its region. One gigawatt of electricity generated would power between 800,000 and one million homes. Solar power more than doubled in each of the last two years and continues to grow. The map below shows the amount of solar capacity by county in PJM’s region. “We’re now truly harnessing the sun’s power,” said Andrew Ott, PJM senior vice president of Markets. “Throughout PJM we are seeing tremendous growth, which aids in meeting the renewable goals of states in our region,” Ott said.
The states’ renewable goals are presented on page 47 of PJM’s Regional Transmission Expansion Plan report. 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 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. A portion of the one GW of solar is considered “behind-the-meter” generation because it is not offered into the PJM wholesale market. However, “behind-the-meter” solar is also tracked by the PJM EIS registry.PJM’s Renewable Energy Dashboard provides a snapshot of how much renewable energy is available in PJM and proposed to be built in the region.