Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) are a mechanism by which owners of solar energy systems can trade “credits” on an open market and reap financial returns in exchange for the renewable energy attributes of their system.

Third Sun Solar Installation at Findlay Market, Cincinnati

An SREC is a Solar Renewable Energy Certificate, often called a “credit.” It represents “the renewable energy attributes” associated with one megawatt hour of electricity produced by solar technology (one MWh equals 1,000 kilowatt hours). How many SRECs will a given solar energy system produce? A general rule of thumb in Ohio is 1 kW of solar capacity will produce approximately 1 SREC per year. Therefore, a 5 kW solar power system will produce about 5 SRECs per year.

When discussing SRECs, it is important to note that it is not the electricity we are talking about; someone with solar panels on their rooftop enjoys full uses of the electricity produced by those panels, regardless of whether they keep or sell their SRECs. What is sold as an SREC are the intangible “green energy attributes” associated with one MWh of solar power. And along with those attributes come the “bragging rights”—in other words, the party that holds the SREC owns the right to claim they are producing clean power. Only the SREC owner can cite use of solar in marketing materials and to meet policy goals. This promotes the spread of renewable energy, and prevents two parties from making duplicate green claims for a single energy system. (Third Sun Solar offers a white paper entitled “SRECs and Green Claims”—just ask your project developer for a copy, or contact us).

As part of our service, Third Sun Solar will be pleased to provide consulting to assist you in securing the best deal for your SRECs. Although many installers receive commissions or a “cut of the deal” in exchange for steering their customers to certain buyers, Third Sun Solar has made the decision to not seek any income from our customers’ SRECs. Therefore, you can trust that our advice is unbiased and that our only goal is to see you maximize this revenue stream.

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