The Cuomo administration needs to step up its commitment to large-scale renewable energy if the state wants to reach its renewable energy goals, according to Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, a regional partner of the American Wind Energy Association.
With New York's 30% by 2015 renewable portfolio standard (RPS) set to expire at the end of the year, Reynolds says the time is now to recommit investments to wind, offshore wind, hydropower and utility-scale solar energy.
‘The state's RPS, launched more than a decade ago, is expiring and needs to be replaced," says Reynolds. ‘It has been very successful, [in] stimulating good projects with negligible impacts to ratepayers. But, it did not get to 30%.
‘We enthusiastically support the 50 percent goal in Governor Cuomo's State Energy Plan. Now, the governor has an exciting opportunity to design an innovative new large-scale renewables program that will put New York solidly on the pathway to 50 percent. This will attract more private investment in New York from renewable energy companies.’
In her testimony, Reynolds called for critical amendments to the Reforming the Energy Vision plan being developed by the state Department of Public Service. These include using a target-based approach that is enforceable – through which utilities have an obligation to procure renewable energy using long-term, bundled power purchase agreements (PPAs).
‘This is the most accountable, efficient and affordable approach,’ Reynolds testified. ‘This type of approach is competitive and market-driven and stimulates private-sector investment to achieve a clean energy future, all characteristics reflected in the principles of New York's State Energy Plan.’ Reynolds also urged that the program include an offshore wind tier to bring that emerging technology to New York. And she urged that the Long Island Power Authority and the New York Power Authority be included in the state program.
Notably, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority – which administers the RPS program for the state – recently agreed to issue at least one main-tier solicitation in 2016. The solicitation is intended to serve as a bridge to the new plan.