New York state must adjust focus to hit green-grid goals, says state comptroller


From pv magazine USA

New York state has a lot of work to do if it hopes to meet the transmission requirements outlined in the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).

report by the NYSOSC, currently led by Thomas P. DiNapoli, states that as of 2022, renewables accounted for approximately 29% of the electricity generated in the state. Roughly 75% of that came from hydroelectric generation, with the remaining 25% was primarily split between wind and solar.

In 2019, New York State adopted the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), which includes targets to generate 70% of electricity used from renewables by 2030 and 6 GW of distributed-generation solar by 2025. It also aims to  install 3 GW of storage by 2030.

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) found that to meet the CLCPA 2030 renewable electricity goal, the state will have to more than triple the installed renewable capacity of roughly 6.5 GW in 2022 by adding an additional 20 GW over an eight-year period.

The NYSOSC report identifies three interrelated processes that play a role in the development of renewable electricity generation resources in the state. The processes work in parallel and developers should note that they do not need to have completed any of the processes before they can enter one of the other processes. Permitting and grid interconnection, however, are required for any all-new sources of generation.

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The three processes are incentives, permitting and siting and interconnection. Through various programs, particularly renewable energy certificates (RECs), incentives stimulate the market to advance the state toward its renewable goals. The report notes that the permitting process is intended to ensure that projects are sited in areas and under conditions consistent with state and local laws and regulations.

The interconnection process should ensure sufficient electric transmission and distribution infrastructure to satisfy customer demand. The report suggests that streamlining the three parallel processes can help reduce the frequency of slow-moving or canceled projects. This is essential, the report contends, to ensuring that the state will meet its goal of removing greenhouse gasses from the grid by 2040.

According to the report, there were three key challenges that hindered its progress: inconsistent provision of incentives; project cancellations; and lengthy project timelines due to delays in siting and operationalization.

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