This recent order by New York's Public Service Commission requires renewable energy developers to quantify and qualify whether their proposed project, if built, will displace other renewable energy and in what amounts. The order prescribing a methodology for project developers to use in providing such quantification and qualification in hopes the Commission can make more informed decisions and will provide a metric to compare with study results to see if the industry is developing as projected under the NY Renewable Portfolio Standard. Since new transmission resources are expensive and, of equal importance, impose environmental costs in the form of land use effects, visual impacts, etc. the Commission cites in the order that "deployment of new transmission needs to be based on accurate knowledge of where new resources are actually developing and the level of loading expected on the facilities. Provision of displacement information is expected to assist the Commission in determining the need for new facilities and "guide the proper investment of ratepayer resources while ensuring minimum land use impacts".
In its order, the Commission acknowledges that of the nearly 1300 megawatts of wind energy installed in the State the majority of the development "occurred in a very small area(s) geographically and depended on the same bulk electric facilities to move the wind energy toward loads." The order goes on to state that "these same facilities carry significant amounts of energy produced by hydro and combined cycle plants. RPS goals for New York target 25% of energy consumed to be from renewable sources by 2013. This goal will not be realizable if the energy from new renewable resources just replaces the energy produced by existing renewable resources."