Last Updated July 3, 2018

Program Overview

  • Implementing Sector: State
  • Category: Regulatory Policy
  • State: Delaware
  • Incentive Type: Renewables Portfolio Standard
  • Funding Source: Renewable Energy Surcharge
  • Start Date: 07/12/2005
  • Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
    Geothermal Electric, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Photovoltaics, Wind (All), Biomass, Hydroelectric, Fuel Cells using Non-Renewable Fuels, Landfill Gas, Tidal, Wave, Ocean Thermal, Wind (Small), Anaerobic Digestion, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels
  • Applicable Sectors: Investor-Owned Utility, Local Government, Retail Supplier
  • Standard: 25% by compliance year 2025-2026
  • Technology Minimum: PV: 3.5% by compliance year 2025-2026
  • Compliance Multipliers:
    300% for in-state customer sited PV and fuel cells
    150% for wind turbines sited in DE
    350% for offshore wind
    110% for solar or wind installation in DE with 50% equipment manufactured in DE
    110% credit for solar or wind installation with a minimum of 75% workforce
  • REC Lifetime: 3 years
  • Credit Trading/Tracking System: Yes (PJM-GATS)
  • Alternative Compliance Payment:
    ACP: $25/MWh (1st year), $50/MWh (2nd year), $80/MWh (3rd year onwards)
    SACP: $400/MWh (1st year), $450/MWh (2nd year), $500/MWh (3rd year onwards)


In 2005, S.B. 74 established a renewables portfolio standard (RPS) requiring retail electricity suppliers to purchase 10% of the electricity sold in the state from renewable sources by compliance year (CY) 2019-2020. After multiple revisions, in July 2010 by S.B. 119 the RPS goal was increased to 25% by CY 2025-2026. The RPS applies to the state's investor-owned utilities, retail electric suppliers, municipal utilities, and rural electric cooperatives. Any municipal utilities or any rural electric cooperatives are allowed to opt-out of the RPS requirement if they establish a comparable program to the RPS standards beginning in 2013. Sales to industrial customers with a peak load of more than 1,500 kilowatts (kW) are also exempt from the standard's requirements.

Eligible technologies:

Eligible renewable-energy technologies include solar electric, wind, ocean tidal, ocean thermal, fuel cells powered by renewable fuels, hydroelectric facilities with a maximum capacity of 30 megawatts (MW), sustainable biomass, anaerobic digestion, and landfill gas. The annual compliance benchmarks as revised in July 2010 are listed in the table below. It should also be noted that the PV target is not in addition to the main target, it is included within it.

Compliance YearEligible RenewablesPV

Energy sold or displaced by a customer-sited eligible energy resource can generate renewable energy credits for RPS compliance, provided the system is sited in Delaware. The output from generators of less than 100 kW may be aggregated for RPS compliance. The PSC will certify generation units as "eligible energy resources". Certified generators are entitled to a renewable energy credit (REC) for each megawatt-hour (MWh) of energy they generate. Delaware RECs are tracked by the PJM-EIS Generation Attributes Tracking System (GATS). A REC can generally be used for RPS compliance in any compliance year that begins less than three years after the date the REC is created. The exception to this is when RECs that are held by the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU), which is required to act as a REC aggregator for customer-sited renewable energy facilities. The three-year REC lifetime is "tolled", or suspended, during any period in which a REC is held by the SEU. This provision was added by S.B. 173 in July 2009 and revised rules incorporating the change were adopted in December 2009 by the PSC.

Suppliers must submit report an annual report detailing their compliance status. Suppliers who fail to comply with the standard's requirements must pay into the Delaware Green Energy Fund an alternative compliance payment (ACP) of $25 per MWh of shortfall. The ACP increases in subsequent years for suppliers who elect to pay it. After the first year that suppliers pay the ACP, the ACP increases to $50 per MWh. After the second year in which it is used, the ACP increases to $80 per MWh. In July 2010 the solar ACP (SACP) levels were increased to $400 per MWh for the first use, $450 per MWh if the electricity supplier has paid a SACP of $400 in any previous year and to $500 per MWh for uses in subsequent years. These levels represent a uniform increase of $150 per MWh to the SACP levels established in 2007, which ranged from $250-$350 per MWh. The State Energy Coordinator has the authority to review and adjust the ACP and solar ACP given certain market conditions.

Credit multipliers:

Several compliance multipliers are currently available under the Delaware RPS. The details of these multipliers are described below:

  • 300% credit toward RPS compliance for in-state customer-sited photovoltaic generation and fuel cells using renewable fuels that are installed on or before December 31, 2014. The 300% multiplier cannot be applied to SRECs used for compliance with the PV carve-out, thus for PV carve-out compliance purposes, SRECs are counted on a 1-to-1 basis. The 300% credit formerly applied to all solar electric generation prior to the 2007 amendments.
  • 150% credit toward RPS compliance for energy generated by wind turbines sited in Delaware on or before December 31, 2012. This provision dates to the 2005 legislation that established the RPS.
  • 350% credit for PSC-regulated electric companies (i.e., Delmarva Power & Light, the state's only investor-owned utility) for energy derived from offshore wind facilities sited on or before May 31, 2017. This provision was added by S.B. 328 in 2008.
  • An additional 10% credit (i.e., 110% credit) for solar or wind installations sited in Delaware for which at least 50% of the equipment or components are manufactured in Delaware. This was added by S.S. 1 for S.B. 119 in 2010.
  • An additional 10% credit (i.e., 110% credit) for solar or wind installations sited in Delaware and installed with a minimum 75% state workforce. This was added by S.S. 1 for S.B. 119 in 2010.


As provided in the table above, there is a minimum percentage requirement of the retail electricity sales to be fulfilled by solar PV. The percentage requirement is established by the DPSC. The State Energy Coordinate may freeze this minimum percentage requirement if it decides that the cost of complying during the year exceeds 1% of the total retail cost of electricity.

The passage of S.B. 124 in July of 2011 amended the RPS to allow energy output from a Qualified Fuel Cell Provider Project in fulfilling a portion of the requirements under the RPS Act. A qualified fuel cell provider project is a fuel cell power generation project located in Delaware owned and/or operated by a Qualified Fuel Cell Provider. The energy produced by such projects shall fulfill the commission-regulated electric company's state-mandated REC and SREC requirements. The fulfillment of the equivalent of 1 REC is equal to each MWh of energy. These projects will fulfill no more than 30% of the SREC requirements at a ratio of 6 MWh of RECs per 1MWh of SRECs.