N.Y. Lawmakers Propose Legislation In Support Of Existing Renewable Energy Facilities

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Newly proposed legislation in New York is designed to maintain the continued viability of the state’s existing large-scale renewable energy resources.

According to the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY), Assemblymember Michael Cusick, D-Staten Island, chair of the New York State Assembly Energy Committee, is introducing a bill that directs the Public Service Commission to establish an obligation for all electricity suppliers – including both utilities and competitive retail electricity suppliers – to procure renewable energy credits (RECs) from renewable generators built before 2015. This second tier of the Clean Energy Standard (CES) – often referred to as CES Tier 2 – would support existing renewables.

Sen. Kevin Parker, chair of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, is carrying companion legislation in the Senate.

According to Anne Reynolds, executive director of ACE NY, the bill requires electricity suppliers to buy RECs from existing biomass, hydropower and wind energy facilities.

“Support for currently operating renewable energy projects has been a missing piece in New York’s ambitious Clean Energy Standard,” she says.

“This is common-sense legislation that will ensure New York is able to meet its clean energy goals without reinventing the wheel,” notes Cusick. “Our state has a long history of supporting renewable resources, and as we transition our grid to a fully carbon-free future, our legacy clean energy infrastructure needs to be supported.”

In addition, according to ACE NY, the bill would help New York reach its bold clean energy goals by retaining existing clean attributes in-state. Currently, New York does not allow existing generators to participate in state procurements, but renewable portfolio standard programs in neighboring states do. This has created an imminent threat of losing some baseline clean energy generation to out-of-state customers – which this bill is intended to remedy, explains ACE NY.

Parker says, “With the launch of the Green New Deal during his State of the State address, Governor Cuomo mentioned the mandate of 100 percent clean power by 2040 – the fastest in the nation. We must do everything in our power to support renewable energy credits by creating Tier 2 of the Clean Energy Standard. As the prime sponsor of this important legislation in the Senate, I look forward to working with Assemblymember Cusick to help shepherd this bill to the governor’s desk.”

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