New York regulators issue 50% by 2030 renewable energy mandate


The New York Public Service Commission has approved the state’s previously announced Clean Energy Standard, which requires that utilities procure 50% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030.

Under this standard, New York is tied with California for the third-most aggressive renewable energy mandate in the United States, after Hawaii (100% by 2045) and Vermont (75% by 2032).

While few details of the policy were available at press time, a statement by the administration of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo describes a policy which looks substantively the same as earlier drafts. This includes a bailout for uncompetitive, aging nuclear power plants through the creation of “zero emissions credits”.

Solar advocacy organizations were quick to praise the new standard.

“Based on today’s Commission session, a 50 percent Clean Energy Standard (CES) is a huge win for New Yorkers, and solar power is going to be key in making this win a reality,” noted Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) VP of State Affairs Sean Gallagher.

Vote Solar, which has been working with New York regulators, also applauded the ruling. ”New York is at the forefront of our nation’s clean energy transformation, and today’s Clean Energy Standard order from the Public Service Commission commits the state to continued leadership,” stated Vote Solar Northeast Regional Manager Sean Garren.

The CES is only one part of New York’s work around clean energy. The state is in the process of crafting of the most ambitious policy measure to redesign the distribution grid in the United States, the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) process. VoteSolar’s Garren notes that there is still much work to be done.

“Governor Cuomo and Chair Zibelman’s continued clean energy leadership will be critical through the implementation of the Clean Energy Standard and decisions in other Reforming the Energy Vision discussions around rate design and net energy metering,” states Garren.

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