On December 2, 2016, the New York Public Service Commission issued a Notice of Evidentiary and Collaborative Tracks and Deadline for Initial Testimony and Exhibits, which initiates a new round in the agency’s regulatory investigation of New York’s retail energy markets. The proceeding will examine measures that may be taken to ensure customers are receiving “valuable services and paying just and reasonable rates for commodity and other services” from Energy Service Companies (ESCOs). Continue Reading New York PSC Opens Evidentiary Hearing on ESCO Markets
In August 2016, the Public Service Commission (“Commission”) issued the Clean Energy Standard Order to set the framework for accomplishing two goals: achieving 50 percent renewable generation by 2030 and preserving the economic viability of three zero-emissions nuclear power plants as a bridge to the clean energy future. To meet the first goal, the Commission directed each Load Serving Entity (“LSE”) to purchase Renewable Energy Credits (“RECs”) from new renewable sources built after January 1, 2015. LSE’s are required to meet their obligations in one of three ways: (1) by purchasing RECs from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”), (2) purchasing RECs from other eligible sources, or (3) making Alternative Compliance Payments (“ACPs”) to NYSERDA. Continue Reading New York Public Service Commission Clarifies REC and ZEC Obligations
The debate over the future of net metering and the proper valuation of distributed energy resources has reached Congress. In the wake of a debacle over retroactive changes to net metering rules in his home state of Nevada, Senator Harry Reid (with Senator Angus King of Maine) recently proposed legislation on the subject. The proposal, known as Amendment 3120 would add language to Section 111(d) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 ( PURPA) aimed at protecting net metering customers from retroactive changes to net metering rules and requiring any such Continue Reading Concerns Over Retroactive Changes to Net Metering Lead to Proposed Federal Regulation
This week New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released a number of policy proposals aimed at New York’s clean energy sector in conjunction with his annual State of the State address. Fundamentally, the Governor proposes that New York “become an international capital for clean and green energy products.” Consistent with the State’s clean energy policies, the Governor announced a plan to close or repower New York’s last two operating coal-fired power plants by 2020. Continue Reading Cuomo’s 2016 State of State Address Sets Stage for Banner Year in Clean Energy Sector
The New York Independent System Operator (“NYISO”) recently issued a press release announcing its plans to undertake a new study on the potential for growth in the net metered (aka “customer sited”) solar sector to determine the impact on New York’s electricity grid. The study is based upon the explosive growth in net metered solar projects in the state. Under the NY-Sun Program, New York experienced 300 MW of new net metered capacity (installed or under contract) in just the first two years after the program was launched in 2012. In total, the aggressive NY-Sun Program calls for installation of 3,000 MW of solar capacity by 2023. Continue Reading NYISO Announces Study of Fast Growing Solar Industry
Under New York State Public Service Law Section 66-j, certain remote net metered renewable energy projects, including solar energy facilities, are limited to 2 MW on a single deeded parcel in order to qualify for net metering.
The Public Service Commission (“PSC”), in its December 14, 2014 “Order Raising Net Metering Minimum Caps, Requiring Tariff Revisions, Making Other Findings, and Establishing Further Procedures” (“December Order”), addressed the 2 MW issue. In clarifying the 2 MW limitation, the PSC addressed requests from Cornell University regarding whether, under the limitation, a non-residential solar customer can collocate multiple 2 MW remote net metered projects on adjacent or contiguous parcels. Continue Reading New York State Public Service Commission Order on Remote Net Metering May Require Solar Projects to Obtain Subdivision or Lot Line Adjustment Approvals
In several recent remarks, Governor Andrew Cuomo has indicated that the long-delayed health study of hydraulic fracturing by the New York State Department of Health will be released before the end of 2014. Speaking Monday on the Capital Pressroom radio show, Cuomo referred to pending decisions on natural gas development and casinos, stating that “by the end of the year we should have positions on both that are clear and we’ll start the new year with some major decisions under our belt, so to speak.” Likewise, last Friday, Cuomo told reporters that he expected the health study to be completed before the end of the year. At least one media outlet has noted that Monday’s statement is the first indication that the release of the health study will come along with the state’s “final position.” These comments, however, leave everyone guessing as to what the “final position” will be, what form the “final position” will take, and what all of this means for the pending environmental impact statement and proposed regulations, which have been on the shelf for several years.
This week, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department (“Third Department” or “Court”), issued a memorandum decision in the case of Thrun v. Cuomo, dismissing a legal challenge to New York’s involvement in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (“RGGI”). The RGGI program is a cooperative effort of nine northeast states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a cap and trade program applicable to fossil-fuel powered electricity generating units having a rated capacity of at least 25 megawatts. The RGGI program was the product of a 2005 Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) between the governors of the seven initial RGGI states, including former New York Governor George Pataki. Continue Reading Appeals Court Dismisses Legal Challenge to New York RGGI Program
It appears that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) will very likely face multiple legal challenges to its long-delayed issuance of a final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (“SGEIS”) for the High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (“HVHF”) regulatory program. Lawyers representing the Bankruptcy Trustee of Norse Energy Corp. USA filed a letter with DEC Commissioner Martens demanding that he identify “a date certain in the near future when the SGEIS will be completed so that the many permit applications that were filed by Norse may be pursued.” “Absent a definitive and reasonable timetable” from DEC, Norse has declared its intent to sue the agency in state court seeking an order to compel finalization of the SGEIS. Continue Reading Lawsuits Over Hydraulic Fracturing SGEIS Imminent: Joint Landowners Threaten Suit Before Year End
Newly confirmed EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy recently delivered a speech on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating jobs in the energy industry. According to Energy In Depth, her remarks included the statement that: Continue Reading New EPA Administrator Touts The Benefits of Natural Gas