An SRECs is a Solar Renewable Energy Certificate. A single SREC equates to one megawatt (MWh) of renewable energy generation. According to SRECTrade: In SREC states, the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires electricity suppliers to secure a portion of their electricity from solar generators. The SREC program provides a means for Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) to be created for every megawatt-hour of solar electricity created.

Here are some basics, to get an idea what this means in relation to a solar electric system.

1 SREC = 1,000 kWh of solar electricity = 1 MWh of solar electricity

In Southeastern Ohio, one kilowatt of solar photovoltaic will generate about 95 kilowatt hours per month. A two kilowatt system will generate about three SRECs per year. It is not a straight forward calculation, but agrees well with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) PV Watts.

Selling your SRECs is not a straightforward process. It is rather cumbersome for the system owner. However, the best way to sell SRECs is with a contract. Athens Electric has worked with Knollwood Energy to provide contracts for selling SRECs on the environmental exchange. The market for SRECs fluctuates, but currently a PV system owner with a contract can sell their SREC for about $225 per SREC (as of March 2010). This means the owner of a two kilowatt grid-tied PV system in Ohio could receive approximately $675 per year from selling their three SRECs.

To understand SRECs more fully, it is important to realize that SRECs are completely separate from the grants, tax rebates, net metering credits and other such things related to a solar photovoltaic system. Selling SRECs is not an “incentive” per se – it’s more of a bonus, really.  Not every state has a market for SRECs, so PV system owners in Ohio have yet another reason to go solar!