Commission delivers rights for rooftop solar, starts on path to universal clean energy access
Albany, NY - The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) voted today to approve the first phase of the Value of Distributed Energy Resources order (PDF), reaching a milestone in New York’s long-term vision of a modern energy system that puts customer participation and clean energy at its center.
Based on today’s PSC meeting, we believe the order marks an important step toward building a resilient electricity market. The order is the culmination of a robust multi-stakeholder process, driven by Governor Cuomo and the Commission’s leadership and commitment to climate and clean energy progress.
The order affirms residential and small commercial customers will continue to be fairly compensated for the clean power they deliver to the grid under net metering, and some community solar projects and large commercial customers will be grandfathered onto the current rate. New community solar customers and larger commercial projects will move to the new tariff presented in the order, which advocates are concerned may not lead to viable project economics in much of the state.
Clean energy advocates and solar industry representatives applauded New York’s leadership and stakeholder engagement as they reached today’s order. Further, they identified opportunities to better deliver on the promise of expanding clean energy access for all New Yorkers as the market moves forward during the implementation of this order and further Commission dockets.
“Today’s order marks an important milestone in the path to building a cleaner, modern, and more resilient energy system in New York,” said Sean Garren, Northeast Regional Director for Vote Solar. “Thanks to leadership at the Administration and Commission, the Empire State is delivering consumer savings, local jobs, and a healthier environment. While this order has yet to fully expand clean energy access to all New Yorkers, we look forward to doubling down on that commitment to make community solar work throughout the state.”
“Today’s Commission action enables the community solar market to finally begin moving forward in New York, bringing local clean energy and electricity bill savings to thousands of customers, even if they don’t have a sunny roof,” said Jeff Cramer, Executive Director of the Coalition for Community Solar Access. “However, there is much more work to be done to actually make community solar available at the scale necessary to meet consumer demand, especially Upstate, and to meet the Governor's laudable renewable energy goals. We look forward to working with the Administration to translate its commitment to community solar from vision to reality.”
“New York has been a national solar leader, eliciting over a billion dollars in investments by solar companies to help create a cleaner more reliable energy system for New York,” said Valessa Souter-Kline, Policy Coordinator at the New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA). “This long-awaited order provides important near-term market certainty, but more work will be needed to reach Governor Cuomo's goals over the long term. We look forward to continued stakeholder collaboration to fully and fairly assess the important economic, community and environmental benefits provided by a strong solar market with access for all.”
“The Commission’s order is an important initial step toward fully valuing distributed energy resources, such as solar energy, in New York and achieving the state’s clean energy goals,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “We applaud the PSC for its collaborative process and the Cuomo Administration for its commitment to building a robust solar industry, which is delivering more than 8,100 New York jobs. While there is still work to do to achieve the Governor’s goal of 3 GW of distributed solar and expand access to community solar, the order lays out a solid framework for the market that we can build upon going forward.”
About Vote Solar
Vote Solar is a non-profit organization working to combat climate change and foster economic development by bringing solar energy into the mainstream nationwide. Learn more at www.votesolar.org
About the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA)
Founded in February 2016, CCSA is a business-led trade organization that works to expand access to clean, local, affordable energy nationwide through community solar. Community solar refers to local solar facilities shared by individual community members, who receive credits on their electricity bills for their portion of the power produced. Community solar projects provide American homeowners, renters and businesses access to the benefits of solar energy generation unconstrained by the physical attributes of their home or business, like roof space, shading, or whether or not they own their residence or building. These programs can also expand access to solar energy to low-income households. For more information on CCSA, visit the website at www.communitysolaraccess.org, like the Coalition on Facebook at www.facebook.com/communitysolaraccess and follow the Coalition on Twitter at @solaraccess.
Celebrating its 43rd anniversary in 2017, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry, which now employs more than 260,000 Americans. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to build jobs and diversity, champion the use of cost-competitive solar in America, remove market barriers and educate the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.
Founded in 1994, the New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA) is the only statewide membership and trade association dedicated solely to advancing solar energy use in New York State. NYSEIA proudly represents 300 plus businesses across 338 locations in New York State that employ over 4,200 individuals throughout the entire solar value chain. Lead by a diverse Board of Directors, NYSEIA strives to achieve significant, long-term and sustainable growth of solar energy adoption in New York State.