New York continues to push ahead with its renewable energy goals. In late Setember, the state announced two significant developments during its kick-off of Climate Week. Governor Kathy Hochul announced the winners of its recently established Tier 4 REC solicitation, which sought proposed generation or transmission projects that would deliver renewable electricity into New York City. Additionally, Hochul called for the expansion of the state’s NY-Sun program to achieve 10 GW of distributed solar by 2030 (up from 6 GW by 2025). Both announcements signal the state’s commitment to reach its goal of 70% renewable electricity by 2030.
NY Tier 4 Awards
New York’s Tier 4 REC program was implemented in October 2020 in the Order Adopting Modifications to the Clean Energy Standard. Tier 4 RECs value the environmental attributes of renewable energy delivered to or within New York City. The program is an important step toward helping the state reach its 70×30 goal because NYC relies heavily on fossil-fueled generation.
NYSERDA, which administers the state’s Clean Energy Standard programs, issued a Request for Proposals seeking a minimum quantity of 1,500 MW of renewable energy generation located in New York City or transmission delivering renewable energy into New York City in January 2021. Seven proposals were submitted, and on September 20, 2021, Governor Hochul announced two winners: Clean Path NY (CPNY) and Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE). Clean Path NY is a 1,300 MW, 174-mile transmission line designed to carry renewable electricity from Delaware County to the Rainey substation in Queens, and the developer expects it to be operational by 2027. Champlain Hudson Power Express, which is already fully permitted, is a 1,250 MW, 339-mile transmission line that will deliver renewable electricity, including hydropower, from Quebec to the Astoria Energy Complex in Queens. CHPE is expected to be online in 2025. Interestingly, these two contracts total 2,550 MW which far exceeds the benchmark target of 1,500 MW. The contracts now must be finalized and approved by the NY Public Service Commission.
NY-Sun provides upfront incentives to developers installing distributed solar projects for residential, nonresidential, and large commercial and industrial customers. Established in 2014, the NY-Sun program had an initial goal of 3 GW of distributed solar by 2023. The 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) expanded this goal to 6 GW of 2025. On September 20, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the expansion of the NY-Sun program in order to reach 10 GW of installed distributed solar by 2030. Expansion of the program to 10 GW by 2030 is significant because the state is on track to reach the 6 GW by 2023 goal, meaning that the likelihood of installing 10 GW in New York by 2030 is high. With the expansion of the NY-SUN program, additional program incentives will continue.
Hochul’s announcement directs NYSERDA to issue a distributed solar roadmap outlining an approach to achieve the 10 GW goal by 2030. Once the roadmap is filed with the NY PSC, regulations will be issued in early 2022.
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