NY updates roadmap to 70% renewable electricity by 2030

N.Y. releases plan for 70% renewables by 2030 E&E News | David Iaconangelo June 22, 2020

Officials in New York have unveiled a draft road map for getting 70% of the state’s power from renewables by 2030, a key milepost on its path to eliminating nearly all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The white paper also took on the thorny challenge of decarbonizing New York City. Home to two-thirds of the state’s electricity demand, the city and its suburbs get nearly all of their electricity from fossil fuels; by comparison, 88% of power in the rest of the state comes from zero-carbon sources, a situation that officials have described as “a tale of two grids.” “A central challenge in achieving the [70% by 2030 target] will be increasing the penetration of renewable energy consumed in the downstate region of the State,” DPS staff wrote. The DPS white paper urges the state to offer a new tier of renewable energy credits to reward large-scale clean power developers who channel electricity into New York City’s grid. That tier would likely apply to two types of resources: offshore wind and Canadian hydroelectric power.

PV Mag: New York regulators, NYSERDA, release white paper on how to better achieve 70% renewables by 2030

In pursuit of the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the two entities have outlined a plan to rewrite current procurement procedures, expand the role of offshore wind and establish a new tier of eligible generation resources. JUNE 19, 2020 TIM SYLVIA, PV Mag

The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) have released a White Paper outlining a roadmap for the state to achieve its 70% by 2030 renewable electricity goal, which was initially enacted in the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

By 2030 PSC and NYSERDA estimate that the state’s utilities will have to meet an electrical load of 151,678 GWh. That number already accounts for loads served by behind-the-meter resources, like rooftop solar. It also includes 10,334 GWh of additional load from air- and ground-source heat pumps, 9,048 GWh of additional load from electric vehicles and 40,865 GWh of demand reduction from energy efficiency measures.

With that initial estimation of 151,678 GWh in place, by 2030, New York must achieve roughly 106,174 GWh of renewable electricity generation to meet the mandate. For context, the state’s current operating projects and known commitments of projects to come meets about 63,317 GWh annually, leaving the state to make up a difference of 42,858 GWh over the next 10 years.

Par of this demand will be met via an offshore wind procurement schedule that averages around 1 GW annually through 2027, which will lead to roughly 5.8 GW/17,868 GWh generated annually by 2030.

For the remaining 24,990 GWh, PSC and NYSERDA have proposed a mixture of both reforms to the state’s Clean Energy Standard (CES) and additional procurements to meet demand.

Rewriting procurement targets

The first reforms come to the state’s current Tier-1 renewable generation source procurement targets. As it stands, the state needs to add 4,500 GWh of generation every year from 2021 to 2026 to stay in-line with these goals. PSC and NYSERDA have proposed that annual Tier 1 procurements be done in amounts necessary to achieve the 70 by 30 Target, but with the elimination of annual procurement quantity limitations. In explanation of this proposal, the paper outlines:

NYSERDA should have the flexibility to respond to market conditions, which may mean procuring substantially more or less in any given solicitation than the currently-estimated statewide quantity of 4,500 GWh/year. Instead of the currently-required Minimum and Anticipated Procurement Targets, this White Paper recommends a process in which, by means of the Divergence Test process, NYSERDA annually revises the average annual amount required to reach the 70 by 30 target based on the latest data.”

The two parties also propose

  • the removal of projects of currently viable from counting towards planed capacity expansions;
  • a consolidation and reduction of how heavily project viability, operational flexibility and peak coincidence contribute to a proposed project’s potential;
  • a broadening of the potential risk factors considered for every project proposed and
  • clarification of CES delivery requirements, specifically for energy imported from other states.

Tier 4

The other big change proposed in the White Paper is the establishment of a new Tier 4 within the CES. To be deemed Tier 4, a projects has to prove “demonstrable increased delivery of renewable energy,” with that energy specifically being delivered to New York City. This delivery could come from either projects located directly in NYC or projects that are delivered using a new transmission interconnection into NYC.

Most all renewable generation source would be eligible for this new tier, though some specific restrictions have been added to potential hydroelectric projects. Also, outside of this new tier, the two parties have also proposed expanding New York’s offshore wind procurement mandate to 9 GW by 2035.

Moving forward

The White Paper, now that it has been released, is available for a 60-day public review and comment period. After this period, PSC will act on the submitted recommendations and make a final determination on program design and implementation.


House: Democrats release broad clean energy tax plan

E&E News | Geof Koss Key clean energy tax breaks would be extended and expanded under a sweeping infrastructure proposal unveiled by House Democrats today that is expected to pass the chamber before July Fourth. Last week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other committee chairs unveiled plans for a broad package, to include highway legislation and other long-sought proposals. More details emerged this morning. As expected, the text of the “Moving Forward Act,” H.R. 2, includes tax provisions that mirror the “GREEN Act” released by Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee last fall. It would extend the renewable production tax credit (PTC) in most cases for facilities that begin construction by the end of 2025 — including projects that includes closed- and open-loop biomass, landfill gas, trash, qualified hydropower and marine and hydrokinetic energy, according to a summary. […] Other qualifying sources, including fiber-optic solar equipment, fuel cells, microturbines, combined heat and power, and small wind projects, begin to phase down to 26% in 2026 and 22% in 2027. Notably, the bill would extend ITC eligibility to energy storage projects, a top priority of the clean energy industry and like-minded lawmakers. The infrastructure package, which also addresses surface transportation and contains clean energy provisions from the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee, also extended the 45Q break for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) projects that start construction by 2025. The bill would extend a break for offshore wind facilities, which would be allowed to elect into the ITC and be exempt from the value reductions under the PTC that onshore wind projects face. Additionally, it would allow renewable projects to qualify for master limited partnerships, a tax treatment currently enjoyed by fossil fuel interests that lawmakers from both parties have sought to expand to cleaner energy sources for years. […] It includes numerous provisions for “greening the fleet” — or transitioning to cleaner sources for the transportation sector — including an expansion of the electric vehicle tax credit that is another top priority for advocates and many Democrats.

Supreme Court unleashing power over pipelines, natural gas

Axios | Amy Harder A decade of battles against pipelines proposed to crisscross the country is arriving at the Supreme Court. Driving the news: The court ruled last week on the first such high-profile case, and two other actions also on pipelines are pending before the justices in decisions whose impacts could be far-reaching. The big picture: These court battles represent the culmination of fights over fossil-fuel infrastructure of all kinds — beginning with the Keystone XL pipeline — as a proxy for a larger debate about climate change and energy. […] Environmentalists, together with local government officials and other advocates, have been fighting these projects through courts and permitting processes in the absence of the federal government taking action on climate policy. […] The Supreme Court ruled last week in favor of a 600-mile natural-gas pipeline proposed to go under the Appalachian Trail in rural Virginia (many pipelines already do). That decision also removed a hurdle for another 300-mile pipeline and could prompt development on other ecologically important lands, environmentalists say. The Supreme Court will consider on Thursday whether it will grant or deny review, or seek the input of the Justice Department, on another pipeline case involving eminent domain and states’ constitutional rights. If the justices take it and reaffirm a lower court’s ruling, that could, in effect, give states veto power to block natural-gas pipelines. The Supreme Court is also expected to decide in the coming weeks whether to grant the Trump administration’s request last week to stay a lower court’s ruling on the still-unresolved Keystone project, which also resulted in permitting delays of numerous other pipelines.