New York State Sets a New Renewable Energy Requirement
September 29, 2004
The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) adopted a new renewable energy policy on September 22nd that requires 25 percent of the state's electricity to be supplied from renewable energy sources by 2013. Although the state already produces 19.3 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources, primarily hydropower, the new Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program will result in about 3,700 megawatts of new renewable energy capacity. The new requirement credits medium- and large-scale facilities that draw on wind, biomass, or ocean energy sources, as well as solar photovoltaic systems, fuel-cell systems, hydropower upgrades, and low-impact, run-of-river hydropower plants of less than 30 megawatts in capacity. The requirement also credits customer-sited fuel cells, solar electric systems, and wind turbines. The RPS program will start in 2006 with a target of roughly 1.3 million megawatt-hours from renewable sources, increasing to nearly 12 million megawatt-hours in 2013.
The PSC estimates that the RPS program will have modest impacts on customer bills, and should cause the state's wholesale energy prices to decline. Overall, the PSC estimates residential customers may see as much as a 0.9 percent reduction in their bills over the life of the program, or an increase of up to 1.68 percent. The projected impact on commercial customers ranges from a 0.78 percent reduction to a 1.79 percent increase, and for industrial customers, from a 1.54 percent reduction to a 2.2 percent increase. See the PSC press release (PDF 23 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.