Recently, Phillips Lytle’s own Dennis Elsenbeck made an appearance on Spectrum News’ Capital Tonight program with host Liz Benjamin to discuss the energy landscape in New York and the economic impact of energy-related policy decisions. As the State legislative calendar year comes to a close, the conversation centered around how energy policy should be focused on meeting market demands so that it aligns with the current economic goals to drive development. As the energy industry continues to undergo changes through innovation and entrepreneurship, synergy amongst the key players – State policymakers, economic developers and the utilities – will influence the effectiveness and efficiency of energy-related development across the State. The interview in its entirety may be viewed in this video.

New York State (“NYS” or “State”) is launching a second round of request for proposals (“RFPs”) for large-scale renewable projects. According to NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”), the State is seeking to accelerate progress to achieve the lofty goals set in the Clean Energy Standard initiative that went into effect in August of 2016. As we have previously reported, the Clean Energy Standard mandates that renewable energy supply 50 percent of the State’s electricity needs by 2030. Large-scale renewable projects, such as utility-scale solar and wind, have been expected to carry a huge load in bridging the gap between the mandated 50 percent and the roughly 23 percent that was produced by renewables in 2016. Continue Reading New York State Seeks Proposals for Large-Scale Renewable Projects

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed 2019 budget originally proposed the elimination of an important sales tax exemption that allows certain customers of Energy Service Companies (“ESCOs”) to receive electric and gas supply without paying transmission and distribution sales tax. Currently, nonresidential default utility customers pay sales tax on both commodity and delivery, while nonresidential ESCO customers pay sales tax only on commodity. The sales tax exemption is designed to incentivize consumer choice and allows ESCOs to offer competitive prices to their customer base.

Early Saturday morning, New York State lawmakers approved a $168 billion budget for fiscal year 2019. The budget for fiscal year 2019, which began on April 1, 2018, does not include the controversial repeal of the ESCO sales tax exemption.

Maintaining the long-standing ESCO sales tax exemption in the final budget is good news for ESCOs and their customers, which remain under continued pressure from the Public Service Commission to reform their business practices.

Following a series of extensions, the New York Public Service Commission (“Commission”) has once again extended the deadline for Community Distributed Generation (“CDG”) and on-site mass market distributed generation (“DG”) providers to file a completed registration package in conformance with the Uniform Business Practices for Distributed Energy Suppliers (“UBP-DERS”). The Commission extended the deadline to allow Department of Public Service Staff to modify the Standard Customer Disclosure Statements based on feedback received from stakeholders. With this extension, CDG and on-site DG providers are required to submit their registration package by May 1, 2018. For more information regarding the registration process, please see our most recent Client Alert.

The Public Service Commission’s (“PSC” or “Commission”) recently enacted Uniform Business Practices for Distributed Energy Resource Suppliers (“UBP-DERS”) Order establishes multiple tiers of regulatory oversight based on the characteristics of a DER provider’s business model. For entities engaged in residential sales of community distributed generation (“CDG”) subscriptions and on-site mass market distributed generation (“DG”) installations, the UBP-DERS requires, among other things, registration with the PSC, compliance with marketing and advertising standards, inclusion of specified terms and disclosures in sales agreements, and customer complaint procedures/reporting requirements.

Pursuant to the Commission’s UBP-DERS Order, all CDG and on-site mass market DG providers must file a completed registration form, including sample contracts and bills, in conformance with the UBP-DERS regulations. DER providers must submit these materials by April 2, 2018. For more information regarding the registration process, please see our most recent Energy Client Alert.

New York Public Service Commission Creates Opportunity for Relief from Expensive “Zero Emissions Compliance” Payments in Cases of Substantial Hardship

New York’s Clean Energy Standard (“CES”) requires, among other things, each Load Serving Entity (“LSE”) to purchase Zero Emission Credits (“ZECs”) from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”) in proportion to the statewide load served by such LSE in a given compliance year. The ZEC payments, in turn, subsidize the continued operation of nuclear baseload power to assist New York in meeting its ambitious clean energy and environmental goals. Continue Reading Need a Break from Excessive Zero Emissions Compliance Payment Obligations? You Have Options.

On February 22, 2018, the New York Public Service Commission (“PSC”) issued an order (“Expansion Order”) expanding the size cap on projects eligible to receive compensation under the State’s Value of Distributed Energy Resources (“VDER”) tariff from 2MW to 5MW. The VDER tariff is designed to compensate Distributed Energy Resources (“DERs”) based on their actual value to the electric grid, such as proximity to load and ability to create certain system efficiencies. Prior to the Expansion Order, eligible projects were limited to a 2MW size cap, which created artificial inefficiencies. Continue Reading New York Expands Size Cap to 5MW for Eligible Distributed Energy Resources

Six months after the legislature adopted an Energy Storage Deployment Program (“Storage Program”), Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law on November 29, 2017, signaling continued support for energy storage development in New York. The Storage Program − which will be subject to further modifications as described below − would amend the Public Service Law by requiring the New York Public Service Commission (“PSC” or “Commission”) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”) to develop an energy storage deployment program to encourage the installation of qualified energy storage systems. Continue Reading New York Sets the Stage for Energy Storage – Details to Be Developed in 2018 Public Service Commission Proceeding

As New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (“REV”) initiative continues to promote increased deployment of Distributed Energy Resources (“DER”), the Public Service Commission (“PSC” or “Commission”) recently established the first set of Uniform Business Practices for DER providers (referred to as the “UBP-DERS”). See Case 15-M-0180, In the Matter of Regulation and Oversight of Distributed Energy Resource Providers and Products, Order Establishing Oversight Framework and Uniform Business Practices for Distributed Energy Resource Suppliers (issued October 19, 2017). Continue Reading New York Public Service Commission Establishes Regulatory Framework for Distributed Energy Resource Providers – Registration Required by February 1, 2018

lightbulb_solar.jpgOn September 14, 2017, the New York Public Service Commission (“PSC” or the “Commission”) issued an Order on Phase One Value of Distributed Energy Resources, which finalizes the Value of Distributed Energy Resources (“VDER”) Phase One Value Stack, as originally articulated in the Commission’s March 9, 2016 VDER Phase One Order. This milestone represents a major step toward moving beyond net energy metering (“NEM”) to articulate a refined valuation methodology for Distributed Energy Resources (“DER”) which recognizes the unique values DER provides to the grid. Continue Reading New York Moves Beyond Net Metering, Recognizing Unique Value of DER