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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

Battery.jpgNotwithstanding New York’s aggressive efforts to lead the way in renewable energy and carbon reduction, New York’s programs have been relatively anemic when it comes to encouraging energy storage. In 2015, New York launched the NY-Sun Commercial / Industrial Incentive Program, which offered performance-based incentives for large-scale solar photovoltaic (“PV”) systems, and provided a $50,000 additional incentive for projects that integrated energy storage. Most recently, the New York Public Service Commission adopted a mandate requiring that each individual New York utility deploy two separate energy storage projects at two separate substations or feeders by the end of 2018, which spurred the utilities to file a number of Requests for Proposals to address deficiencies on their networks. Continue Reading NY Legislature Adopts Energy Storage Program to Address Peak Load and Intermittent Renewables: Legislation Would Require Storage Target by End of 2017

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On May 10, 2017, at the Independent Power Producers of New York (“IPPNY”) conference, Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York, announced that John Rhodes has officially accepted his nomination to head the New York Public Service Commission (“PSC”) and that Governor Cuomo will soon nominate two more PSC commissioners so that the PSC can return to its full strength of five commissioners by the end of the legislative session, which is scheduled to close on June 21, 2017. Rhodes has been the president and CEO of the New York State Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”) since 2013, and previously directed the Center for Market Innovation at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Once confirmed, Rhodes will fill the seat vacated by former Chairman Audrey Zibelman, whose departure left the PSC with three vacant seats and gave rise to questions concerning whether the PSC has a quorum to make regulatory decisions. Continue Reading PSC and FERC Returning to Full Strength: Agencies Set to Square Off on New York’s ZEC Program

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Public Service Commission Proposes Revisions to Uniform Business Practices

(See Part 1: NY PSC Pushes Storage as Critical Component to Utility Planning Process)

The New York Public Service Commission (“PSC” or “Commission”) issued a Notice Seeking Comments on Revisions to the Uniform Business Practices (“UBP Revisions”or “Notice”), which is the Commission’s latest effort to amend the Energy Service Company (“ESCO”) marketing requirements. In response to a seemingly minor 2017 statutory amendment to the NYS General Business Law protecting deceased accountholders from termination fees, and a narrowly drawn petition filed by Green Mountain Energy Company to eliminate the requirement that marketers provide their full first and last name on their employee badges for safety and privacy reasons, the Commission took the opportunity to propose sweeping new regulations to the retail energy market. Continue Reading Phillips Lytle’s PSC Report from the Capital (Part 2)

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NY PSC Pushes Storage as Critical Component to Utility Planning Process:

Utilities Must Deploy Energy Storage Projects Before 2019

(See Part 2: Public Service Commission Proposes Revisions to Uniform Business Practices)

As Public Service Commission (“PSC”) Chair Audrey Zibelman departs from her role as leader of New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (“REV”) initiative, she gave one final push intended to “accelerate the utility planning process” for creating the long-envisioned Distributed System Platform markets. Continue Reading Phillips Lytle’s PSC Report from the Capital (Part 1)

On January 26, 2017, the New York Public Service Commission held the first procedural conference concerning the Track I evidentiary process described in the Notice of Evidentiary and Collaborative Tracks and Deadline for Initial Testimony and Exhibits that was issued on December 2, 2016. The purpose of the procedural conference was to identify parties, discuss a procedural schedule and address issues related to discovery for Track I of the evidentiary process. In Track I of this proceeding, the Commission intends to build an evidentiary magnifying_glass_files.jpgrecord of the current state of the retail energy market—a record that the New York Supreme Court found lacking in the Reset Order litigation earlier this year. That record may include extensive and detailed historic data related to the actual prices charged to retail electric and gas mass-market ESCO customers, number of ESCO customers served, volume of sales, complaint data and more. Continue Reading New York Public Service Commission Evidentiary Hearing Update: DPS Staff Expected To Seek Discovery From All ESCOs, Regardless of Party Status

bulb_coins.jpgNew York’s Energy Service Companies (“ESCOs”) will face significant challenges in the first quarter of 2017. The Public Service Commission’s December 16, 2016 Order Adopting a Prohibition on Service to Low-Income Customers by Energy Service Companies (“Low-Income Order”) gives each utility 60 days from the date of that Low-Income Order to communicate to each ESCO identifying which accounts the ESCO is no longer eligible to serve. Within 30 days of receiving that communication, the ESCO must then de-enroll the identified customers at the expiration of the existing agreement. However, the Commission included an important exception to the prohibition that ESCOs may want to take advantage of – the prohibition does not apply if an ESCO receives a waiver from the Commission. Continue Reading Deadline Looms for ESCO Petitions Seeking Waiver of Low-Income Customer Prohibition

renewable-energy-illustration.jpgOn December 15, 2016, the New York Public Service Commission (“Commission” or “PSC”) issued an Order on Petitions for Rehearing (“Rehearing Order”) which modifies certain aspects of the Clean Energy Standard Order issued August 1, 2016, and requires PSC Staff to explore resource eligibility issues and prepare recommendations to the Commission prior to the first triennial review. While the Rehearing Order dismissed most of the petitions for reconsideration, it opened the door for Staff to develop proposals that could modify the way in which Load Serving Entities (“LSEs”) comply with the Clean Energy Standard (“CES”). Continue Reading New York PSC Modifies Clean Energy Standard Order

Lightbulb-Dollarsign.jpgThe New York Public Service Commission (“Commission” or “PSC”) continues to push for major restructuring of New York’s retail energy market. On December 16, 2016, the PSC issued an Order Adopting a Prohibition on Service to Low-Income Customers by Energy Service Companies (“Low-Income Order”). The Low-Income Order establishes a permanent prohibition on energy service company (“ESCO”) service to customers who are participants in utility low-income assistance programs (“Assistance Program Participants” or “APPs”). The Low-Income Order comes in the wake of two recent PSC orders that sought to establish a moratorium on ESCO service to APPs—the Order Regarding the Provision of Service to Low-Income Customers by Energy Service Companies issued on July 15, 2016, and the Order on Rehearing and Providing Clarification issued on September 19, 2016—both of which are subject to a temporary restraining order issued by the Albany County Supreme Court. Continue Reading New York PSC Prohibits ESCOs from Serving Low-Income Customers