New York regulators adopt energy efficiency, storage initiatives

The New York State Public Service Commission in a Dec. 13 order adopted accelerated energy efficiency goals, targets, and budgets for investor-owned utilities.

The commission also said that it finds that a statewide goal of 185 trillion British thermal units (TBtu) of customer-level energy reduction by 2025 is reasonable and adopts an incremental target of 31 TBtu of reduction by the state’s utilities toward the achievement of that goal. The commission noted that it further adopts a subsidiary target of an annual reduction of 3% in electricity sales by 2025, as well as a subsidiary target of at least 5 TBtu in reduction through heat pump deployment.

Those targets, coupled with activity underway at the utilities and the New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), as well as other complementary actions, will put the state on a path to achieve the 185 TBtu goal and the overall state goal of 40% statewide reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030, the commission added.

The overarching policy of the order is to support cost-effective energy efficiency programs that contribute to achieving the state’s carbon reduction goals. The commission also said that its order establishes an iterative approach, with immediate accelerated utility targets and budgets adopted for the years 2019-2020, and a process for developing utility specific targets and budgets for the years 2021-2025, to be authorized by the commission in 2019.

Of the total 31 TBtu of incremental achievement through 2025, the commission has already authorized 4.6 TBtu in recent rate cases. The commission added that the estimated additional ratepayer contribution to achieve the 31 TBtu target is $1.61bn. Total bill savings for customers participating in the efficiency programs are estimated to be more than $15bn.

The commission added that its order specifically applies to the large jurisdictional investor-owned utilities. The reasonableness of the actions taken in the order is supported by estimates of benefits and customer impacts based on historic trends, as well as the broader context of a statewide carbon reduction strategy as established in the “New Efficiency: New York” (NE:NY) report issued by the state Department of Public Service (DPS) staff and NYSERDA; the state energy plan; and recent commission orders related to the Reforming the Energy Vision initiative.

The commission also said that while the direct subjects of the order are regulated utilities, achieving the order’s goals in a cost-effective manner will also involve third-party market participants. The commission said that at every stage of implementation, the market enabling impacts of utility actions must be considered.

The commission said that focusing program design on clarity, stability, and simplicity will create the preconditions for private companies to invest in bringing forward solutions, which can include:

  • Authorizing and encouraging programs and approaches that support stable markets at scale
  • Authorizing and encouraging programs and approaches that specify problems and look to the provider to specify solutions
  • Authorizing and encouraging the provision of data and information that enables those firms to direct their work and investment most productively
  • Encouraging approaches that streamline program and utility processes to permit effective participation by the best range of suitable providers

According to the filing, the “2019 & 2020 NE:NY Incremental Electric Budgets and Targets,” for instance, include:

  • Consolidated Edison Company of New York (Con Edison): 2020 (and total) Budget – about $59.6m; 2020 (and total) Gross MWh Target – 197,000; 2020 (and total) MMBtu-equivalent Target – 672,164
  • New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG): 2019 Budget – about $5.1m; 2019 Gross MWh Target – 23,803; 2019 MMBtu-equivalent Target – 81,217; 2020 Budget – about $6.4m; 2020 Gross MWh Target – 29,754; 2020 MMBtu-equivalent Target – 101, 521
  • Orange and Rockland Utilities (O&R): 2019 Budget – about $1.8m; 2019 Gross MWh Target – 8,579; 2019 MMBtu-equivalent Target – 29,271; 2020 Budget – about $2.3m; 2020 Gross MWh Target – 10,724; MMBtu-equivalent Target – 36,589
  • Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E): 2019 Budget – about $2.9m; 2019 Gross MWh Target – 14,123; 2019 MMBtu-equivalent Target – 48,187; 2020 Budget – about $3.7m; 2020 Gross MWh Target – 17,654; 2020 MMBtu-equivalent Target – 60,234

Among other things, the commission said that Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Con Edison, KeySpan Gas East Corporation, The Brooklyn Union Gas Company, National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, NYSEG, Niagara Mohawk Power d/b/a National Grid, O&R, and RG&E – collectively referred to as the utilities – are to conduct energy efficiency programs consistent with the order in 2019 and 2020.

The commission also said that each utility is to file a progress report by June 30, 2019, regarding readiness for benchmarking as described in the order.

The utilities, in consultation with NYSERDA, are to also file, collectively or individually, proposals for energy efficiency targets and budgets by March 31, 2019.

Energy storage

In a separate Dec. 13 order, the commission said that under Public Service Law §74 – which directs the commission to establish a statewide energy storage goal for 2030, and a deployment policy to support that goal – it adopts a statewide energy storage goal of installing up to 3,000 MW of qualified storage energy systems by 2030, with an interim objective of deploying 1,500 MW of energy storage systems by 2025.

The commission noted that it also adopts a suite of energy storage deployment policies and actions to help eliminate barriers inhibiting deployment and support the state’s achievement of that goal. Those energy storage deployment policy efforts will require continued collaboration with NYSERDA, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), the New York ISO (NYISO), the New York Power Authority, the New York Green Bank, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, and the state’s investor-owned utilities.

Beginning in 2020, and each third year thereafter, the commission will conduct a review of the progress towards achieving the energy storage deployment goals and the effectiveness of the energy storage deployment policies and actions in meeting those goals.

Among other things, the commission said that by Feb. 11, 2019, Central Hudson, NYSEG, National Grid, O&R, and RG&E are to file an implementation plan detailing a competitive direct procurement process and the cost recovery accounting procedures to deploy 10 MW of qualified energy storage systems.

Also, by Feb. 11, 2019, Con Edison is to file an implementation plan detailing a competitive direct procurement process to deploy 300 MW of qualified energy storage systems.

The commission further stated that Central Hudson, Con Edison, NYSEG, National Grid, O&R, and RG&E are to propose a system efficiency target that includes peak reduction and load factor in the next major rate filing.

In addition, the commission said that Central Hudson, Con Edison, NYSEG, National Grid, O&R, and RG&E are to compile an inventory of suitable, unused, and undedicated utility land that may be used for non-wires alternatives by July 1, 2019, and establish a mechanism for the standardized valuation of unused utility land that would be included in utility benefit-cost analysis (BCA) handbooks.

The commission also ordered that DPS staff, in consultation with NYSERDA, LIPA, and NYISO, is to draft an annual report on the achievements and effectiveness of the energy storage deployment policy as required by Public Service Law §74(2)(i). The first such report is to be filed by April 1, 2020 for calendar year 2019, and by April 1 of each subsequent year thereafter, the commission said.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3059 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.