NY PSC Allows Behind-the-Meter Renewables to Count for RPS

On November 18, the New York State Public Service Commission took several actions to strengthen, expand and enhance its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). This action modifies the procurement process and eligibility requirements to reduce regulatory risk and complexity for developers. It will also enable more projects to participate in the program. In December, 2009, the PSC expanded the RPS goal to increase the proportion of renewable electricity used by New Yorkers from 25 percent to 30 percent by 2015.

The PSC specifically authorized the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to conduct future solicitations for RPS Main Tier resources once a year at a minimum, after consultation with and approval from staff of the Department of Public Service. Previously, a Commission order was required before NYSERDA could begin such a solicitation. The PSC also eliminated a provision from the solicitation process that had prevented NYSERDA from considering the economic development benefits of existing New York-based renewable projects not already part of the RPS program that were put into service after January 1, 2003. In addition, the Commission decided to allow clean wood, separated from construction and demolition debris at approved material reclamation facilities, to be eligible for use as a biomass resource fuel in the RPS program.  

Lastly, the Commission expanded its RPS rules regarding the eligibility of certain “behind-the-meter” energy transactions for RPS program incentives. A “behind-the-meter” transaction is one where the energy is supplied directly to the consumer and is consumed on the consumer’s premises without ever passing through a utility or a public authority transmission or distribution system. Prior to this PSC action, “behind-the-meter” energy consumption did not qualify for Main Tier RPS program benefits primarily because of the lack of independent, verifiable or automated mechanism to measure the energy transaction. The Commission has expanded its RPS rules to include “behind-the-meter” transactions in RPS, so long as the measurement and verification of the in-state energy consumption is performed in a manner that satisfies NYSERDA’s reporting requirements.

The Commission’s decision concerning modifications to certain aspects of the Main Tier solicitation process (Case 03-E-0188), and expansion of the rules concerning resource eligibility (Cases 09-E-0843 and 10-E-0195) under the RPS program, when available, can be obtained by going to the Documents Section of the Commission’s www.dps.state.ny.us  Web site and entering the appropriate case number(s) in the input box labeled “Search for Case/Matter Number.”

Source: NY PSC Press Release


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