New York Lays Out Plan Of Action For Growing Solar, DERs

Posted by Betsy Lillian on October 28, 2016 No Comments
Categories : Policy Watch

As part of the state’s Value of Distributed Energy Resources initiative, New York’s Department of Public Services (DPS) has delivered to state regulators recommendations that outline a road map for growing solar and other distributed energy resources (DERs) in the Empire State.

According to a joint announcement from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Vote Solar, the Coalition for Community Solar Access and the New York SEIA (NYSEIA), the report marks the first major milestone in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) process and depicts a promising opportunity for solar to deliver job growth, healthy communities and grid resiliency to New York.

The groups say the report takes the first step toward estimating the value of DERs and suggests a mechanism to provide predictable compensation to customers for their solar investments.

The recommendations apply this new compensation program only to commercial-scale and community solar projects and leaves residential solar on net metering, the groups note.

“New York embarked on an ambitious initiative when it set out to determine the value that solar and other clean energy resources deliver to New York consumers, to the grid and to the environment,” said Sean Garren, northeast regional manager at Vote Solar. “Today’s report marks a valuable first step towards that goal.”

According to the groups, the DPS report is the culmination of nearly a year of negotiations among dozens of key stakeholders, including utilities, clean energy industries, and environmental and consumer advocates.

The New York Public Service Commission will review the report and is expected to release an order on the implementation of the methodologies in upcoming months.

“Over the past year, the solar industry has engaged with numerous stakeholders in an intensive collaborative process to develop a successor to net metering that embraces the goals of REV while creating the foundations for a strong solar market,” added Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs at SEIA. “We applaud Gov. Cuomo’s commitment to achieving his ambitious solar targets and the [NPS] staff’s thoughtful and deliberate approach to integrating distributed energy resources onto the grid.”

Melissa Kemp, policy co-chair of NYSEIA, noted that there still remains “more work to do to confirm that the details of this first step will value the true contribution of solar and be an equitable and effective approach for all New Yorkers.”

However, she said, “We applaud the state’s commitment and leadership and look forward to working towards a final order. While questions remain, we feel that this process is moving in a positive direction and is essential to the continued increase of solar deployment statewide and to New York achieving its ambitious and necessary clean energy goals.”

The DPS’ full report can be found here.

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