On August 21, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) proposed a new rule which would replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (“CPP”) and establish new emissions guidelines for states to address greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions from electric-generating power plants. As background, the CPP was stayed by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision in February of 2016 before the rule ever went into effect. More recently, in October 2017, the EPA announced its intention to effectively repeal the CPP because it “exceeded” the EPA’s authority. Now, the EPA is proposing to enact the Affordable Clean Energy rule (“ACE Rule”) to reduce GHGs while giving states more flexibility to achieve that goal. Continue Reading EPA Proposes to Replace Clean Power Plan with Affordable Clean Energy Rule
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 New York Department of Public Service Staff released a complex report of recommendations to the New York Public Service Commission on how to properly value distributed energy resources (“DERs”) as the state transitions away from net energy metering (“NEM”). Reforms to NEM—which credits distributed generation at the retail rate of electricity—have been a controversial topic in numerous states as utilities warn of revenue losses and customer cross-subsidies caused by outdated rate designs that do not properly calculate the costs and benefits of NEM to the grid. Continue Reading NY DPS Staff Report on Value of DER
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
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
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
The Champlain Hudson transmission line has received initial approval from the New York State Public Service Commission. The transmission line will be capable of transmitting 1,000 megawatts of hydropower from Quebec to New York City. Estimated to take at least three years to construct, the 335-mile line will be built under Lake Champlain and the Hudson River, and could provide up to 10% of New York City’s power demands and reduce power costs in that market. The plan’s approval is controversial, however, leaving some to wonder whether New York’s own generating plants could, with upgrades to the State’s transmission grid, provide the same energy more reliably, and less expensively, from right here in New York State.