solar_panel_house.jpgThe New York Public Service Commission (“PSC”) is wasting no time when it comes to determining the method for valuing and compensating Distributed Energy Resources (“DERs”). Less than one month after the PSC released its groundbreaking Staff Report and Recommendations in the Value of Distributed Energy Resources Proceeding, Staff has begun its work on Phase Two. On November 18, 2016, PSC Staff issued a Notice Soliciting Comments on Scope and Process for Phase Two of Value of Distributed Energy Resources (“Phase Two Notice”). That Notice invites recommendations and suggestions on scope, timeline and procedure for the ongoing development of the methodology for valuing and compensating DERs.
Continue Reading New York PSC Begins Phase Two in Value of DER Proceeding

Considers Full-scale Regulation, Tariffs and Voiding Existing Contracts

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). In its notice, the Commission reiterated its determination (from 2014) that the retail markets serving mass-market customers “are not providing sufficient competition or innovation.” The Commission will consider three broad questions:
Continue Reading New York PSC Opens Evidentiary Hearing on ESCO Markets

EnergySources.jpgLSE Obligation Deadlines Approaching

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

solarhouse.jpgThe 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

WorldEnergyRpt.jpgWhile Americans witnessed three straight presidential debates with little meaningful discussion about climate change, the rest of the world has been busy chipping away at climate change issues one at a time. In fact, just in the last month we saw four major developments: (1) Canada implemented a carbon tax; (2) the Paris climate agreement officially went into effect; (3) the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (“CORSIA”) was signed by 191 countries requiring airline operators to purchase carbon offsets; and (4) 197 countries agreed to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (“HFCs”), an extremely potent greenhouse gas used in air conditioners.
Continue Reading International Energy Agency Sees Significant Growth for Renewable Energy in Upcoming World Energy Outlook Report

transmissionpylon.jpgNew York State’s electric industry may undergo a drastic transformation.  Recently, the New York State Public Service Commission (“Commission”) issued its Reforming the Energy Vision, NYS Department of Public Service Staff Report and Proposal (“Vision Proposal”) to remodel New York’s electric industry “for both regulated and non-regulated participants, with the objective of creating market based, sustainable products and services that drive an increasingly efficient, clean, reliable, and consumer-oriented industry.”  To accomplish these objectives, “utilities will actively manage and coordinate a wide range of distributed resources, and markets and tariffs will empower customers to reduce and optimize their energy usage and electric bills, and will stimulate innovation and new products that will further enhance customer opportunities.”
Continue Reading Restructuring New York State’s Utilities

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has appointed Alfred Griffin to head up New York’s Green Bank.  Griffin comes from Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.  This key appointment is an important step in moving the Green Bank forward, which is a $1 billion initiative to leverage private investment to grow New York’s clean tech and renewable energy economy.  Read

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:

“Responsible development of natural gas is an important part of our work to curb climate change and support a robust clean energy market at home. It also has huge potential to help power our factories and our vehicles, while at the same time cutting our dependence on foreign oil.”
Continue Reading New EPA Administrator Touts The Benefits of Natural Gas

As part of its RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative (“RE-Powering Initiative”), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has released an updated RE-Powering Mapper (“Mapper”) tool to assist with redevelopment of contaminated sites with renewable energy. EPA’s RE-Powering Initiative promotes the reuse of potentially contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites for renewable energy through a combination of tailored redevelopment tools for communities and developers, as well as site-specific technical support.
Continue Reading The EPA’s Updated RE-Powering Mapper