New York Roadmaps Path to Solar Growth

Solar Jobs and Healthy Communities Could Thrive Under DPS Recommendations

Today, New York’s Department of Public Services staff delivered recommendations to state regulators as part of the state’s Value of Distributed Energy Resources initiative. The report marks the first major milestone in Reforming the Energy Vision process, and depicts a promising opportunity for solar to deliver job growth, healthy communities and grid resiliency to the Empire State.

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“New York embarked on an ambitious initiative when it set out to determine the value that solar and other clean energy resources deliver to New York consumers, to the grid, and to the environment,” said Sean Garren, Northeast Regional Manager at Vote Solar. “Today’s report marks a valuable first step towards that goal. We applaud staff’s collaborative stakeholder process that guided their recommendations to a strong compromise. This process is far from over, and we look forward to continue working with the Commission to develop the final order.”

“Staff’s report puts forth a credible framework for moving the state closer to the Governor’s solar goals and establishing New York as a leader, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Commission to ensure the final order supports a diverse and robust solar market across the state,” said Sean Gallagher, Vice President of State Affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association. “Over the past year, the solar industry has engaged with numerous stakeholders in an intensive collaborative process to develop a successor to net metering that embraces the goals of REV while creating the foundations for a strong solar market. We applaud Governor Cuomo’s commitment to achieving his ambitious solar targets, and the staff’s thoughtful and deliberate approach to integrating distributed energy resources onto the grid.”

“We thank DPS staff for outlining a path forward that would finally get the community solar industry off the ground in New York,” said Jeff Cramer, Executive Director of the Coalition for Community Solar Access. “The community solar industry remains committed to working with New York policymakers to make solar an option for every New Yorker who pays an electric bill, and we look forward to working with the Commission to ensure that the final order sets out a predictable, stable mechanism to support robust community solar development statewide over the next several years.”

“The Staff’s report today is an excellent starting place for New York’s efforts to better understand the value that distributed energy resources like solar bring to ratepayers, our energy supply, our environment, and to all New Yorker’s health and wellbeing. It also allows the vibrant solar industry to continue growing and providing value to customers.” said Melissa Kemp, Policy Co-Chair of the New York Solar Energy Industries Association. “There is still more work to do to confirm that the details of this first step will value the true contribution of solar and be an equitable and effective approach for all New Yorkers, but we applaud the State’s commitment and leadership, and look forward to working towards a final order. While questions remain, we feel that this process is moving in a positive direction and is essential to the continued increase of solar deployment statewide and to New York achieving its ambitious and necessary clean energy goals.

The report takes a first step towards estimating the value of distributed energy resources and suggests a mechanism to provide predictable compensation to customers for their solar investments. The recommendations only apply this new compensation program to commercial scale and community solar projects, and leaves residential solar on net metering.

Governor Cuomo is setting an example for other states to follow,” said Evan Dube, Senior Director of Public Policy for Sunrun and spokesperson for The Alliance for Solar Choice. “His continued leadership shows that collaborative, transparent, long-term processes are necessary to protect solar jobs and provide energy choice to consumers.”

The DPS report is the culmination of nearly a year of negotiations among dozens of key stakeholders, including utilities, clean energy industries, and environmental and consumer advocates. The New York Public Service Commission will review the report and is expected to release an order on the implementation of the methodologies in upcoming months.

Vote Solar and SEIA’s joint filing can be found here.

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