Articles filed under Energy Policy from New York
New York just passed one of the nation’s strongest renewable energy policies, but the plan for building out the transmission lines it will need to implement those policies is more uncertain. On Monday, the state Public Service Commission passed the Clean Energy Standard, which mandates that renewables power half of New York’s power grid by 2030, and provides more than $1 billion in subsidies for financially challenged nuclear facilities that would otherwise close.
While NYISO was careful to point out that it supports Cuomo's vision, the North Greenbush-based operation said New York would have to add a large amount of new transmission lines and would have to study more how to manage the added renewable electricity generation, which is naturally intermittent, that would be added to the grid. Transmission upgrades and new transmission lines are expensive to build and even more unpopular with residents who don't like to see the large structures near their neighborhoods.
New York’s chairman of energy and finance will exclude himself from meetings with the world’s largest offshore wind-energy developer about a wind farm off Long Island because of an investment he has in a Goldman Sachs subsidiary that owns a large stake in the company.
With state lawmakers set to leave this month, the nation's strongest climate protection bill was expected to clear the Assembly, but remained without a sponsor in the Senate late Wednesday.
“Such PPAs unnecessarily transfer the risk that certain resources may not be economically viable from private investors and developers to those that are unable to manage and mitigate such risk — consumers,” NYISO officials wrote. “Significantly, the [Department of Public Service] Staff White Paper does not address the reliability concerns that arise when resources are insulated from the financial consequences of their operation.”
To reach Gov. Andrew Cuomo's clean power goals, which call for the state to get half its electricity from clean sources by 2030, utilities will have to ink binding long-term deals to buy power from large wind or solar farms, according to a recent report by the state Public Service Commission.
A coalition of power plant owners and energy groups is opposing utility ownership of large-scale renewable energy projects such as wind farms that would help the state achieve its renewable energy goals.
The state’s energy research authority is proposing to spend $1.5 billion over the next 10 years to spur further development in renewable energy projects, extending a program that began in 2004 through the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard program.
Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, an Albany-based trade group, says many companies are getting involved in the process to help shape the state's policies. She said they worry that renewable energy companies could lose business if utilities are put in charge of installing solar panels and other forms of distributed generation. There are also questions about how large-scale wind projects will fit into the new policies.
A recent Public Service Commission (PSC) Order instructed NYSERDA to issue at least one more RPS solicitation in 2015, and double the length of current contract terms to 20 years.
The state Public Service Commission is considering the creation of a new Clean Energy Fund that would replace its Renewable Portfolio Standard, a program begun in 2004 to boost New York's renewable energy production to 30 percent of the state's total generation by 2015.
"It's too ambitious by 2030 to replace all the state's power with renewables," Angus McCrone, a senior analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in London, said today. The projections, he said, look "unrealistic" for individual technologies. ...offshore wind turbines would cover an area of about 4,903 square miles, and onshore machines would cover a further 1,000 square miles.
Top Iberdrola executives seemed largely ignorant of American regulatory requirements. Auditors said they must "adjust more to business culture here, as opposed to expect U.S. stakeholders to accommodate themselves to Spanish custom and practice." Top executives wouldn't answer auditors' questions, wouldn't allow board members to be interviewed and argued against disclosing information, making arguments that auditors described as "invalid" and "very peculiar."
And as representatives from utility companies, the energy industry and the banks that fund them convene to discuss the future of the state's power grid, local officials and residents who fought NYRI say they are hopeful their plans won't hurt local communities.
"This is in opposition to the state of New York being the last approving agency to decide which green energy projects go where in New York state, particularly in the towns and counties," said Chairman Douglas Berwanger.
Companies that got into the windmill business did so to get their piece of the taxpayer dollars being thrown around. ...If there is no cost benefit to these plans and subsidies are required to make them happen, that is a losing proposition.
Legislator Shawn Doyle, R-Pulaski, has noted that there are aspects of the bill that he described as positive. However, the "bad outweighs the good," he said, as the issue lays in the threat to Home Rule, he has said, which is the legislative authority that allows each municipality in New York to govern themselves.
The Coalition on Article X (COAX), a group that has ties to the Oswego County community, has expressed that they are appalled by the legislation, noting that the law encroaches on Home Rule in New York, which is a legislative authority that allows each municipality in New York to govern themselves.
"This is a local zoning issue, and now, the state is trying to butt its nose into an area that has always been a local issue," Tyksinski said. "You can't do that. It's wrong." In June, the state Legislature approved the Power NY Act of 2011. The act includes Article X, which regulates the review of power plants of 25 megawatts or more - including wind projects.
"COAX members are appalled that Article X was slipped into law without any discussion by our elected officials with the very New York state citizens they were elected to represent," members of COAX said in a statement. "We find this lack of transparency to be totally unacceptable."