NYSERDA Seeks $573 Million and Policy Changes to Reboot NY-Sun
On November 25, 2019, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) filed its Petition Requesting Additional NY-Sun Program Funding and Extension of Program Through 2025 (NY-Sun Petition) with the New York State Public Service Commission (Commission). Filing of the petition commences the first of many regulatory proceedings to implement the lofty goals of New York State’s 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).
In its petition, NYSERDA seeks authority to fund NY-Sun, the State’s flagship solar incentive program, through 2025 (and beyond for certain post-completion activities) at a total of $573 million. NYSERDA projects this would enable the State to reach the CLCPA’s mandate of 6,000 megawatts (MWs) of solar by 2025. Prior funding for NY-Sun has helped New York State achieve its current distributed solar capacity installed and in the pipeline of approximately 2,000 MWdc. NYSERDA’s request for approximately 50 percent of the prior funding total to reach the CLCPA’s mandate of 6,000 MWs (more than three times current capacity) reflects both the extraordinary cost declines and scaling of the solar industry in New York over the last five years, and NYSERDA’s confidence in the efficiency of the strategies proposed in its petition. As Shyam Mehta, Executive Director of the New York Solar Energy Industry Association, noted, “The policies detailed in the NYSERDA Petition will go a long way toward achieving the Empire State’s ambitious goals and guaranteeing a fair and equitable clean energy future.”
The breakdown of funding contained in the petition reflects the CLCPA’s priorities and is also an indicator for market participants about where to focus project development efforts in 2020 and beyond. Specifically, the petition focuses the State’s future funding and efforts on upstate commercial and industrial projects, including community solar, as well as projects that serve low-to-moderate income (LMI) communities and affordable housing.
In this alert, we note the significant specific funding requests, CLCPA interpretations, market assumptions and policy implications this petition reflects. This alert also describes what comes next and likely timeframes for the State’s implementation of NY-Sun 2.0.