News and Legislative Memos

Governor Cuomo and Legislature Agree to Power Plant Siting Law

IPPNY welcomes the end of an 8-year period without a comprehensive siting law

Albany, N.Y., 6/22/11 - The Independent Power Producers of New York, Inc. (IPPNY) supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the Legislature’s agreement to a new power plant siting law, and appreciates their extraordinary effort to hammer out a deal.  The Governor’s Program Bill marks the end of over an 8-year period without such a law in place.  This legislation is an improvement over previous proposed versions, as it provides a single permitting process that can be completed in one year.  The law recognizes the importance of a power plant siting process as a key component of competitive electricity markets.

IPPNY President & CEO Gavin J. Donohue said that this legislation is an important step for New York State.  “A new siting law is vital to New York’s future, and this statute is an attempt to reestablish a workable siting law that could bring infrastructure investment and economic development," said Donohue.  "This legislation builds upon the Governor’s priority of job creation and allows for low-emitting and reliable electricity for New Yorkers.  The law provides a statewide framework for siting and repowering generating facilities with a known timetable.”  Additionally, acknowledging the efforts of the Legislature, Donohue stated, “IPPNY commends Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Energy Committee Chairman George Maziarz for their hard work to champion this cause in the Senate and their tireless efforts to make this agreement possible, recognizing the value of adding reliable generating sources to the state’s grid.  IPPNY thanks Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Energy Committee Chairman Kevin Cahill for working to find a balance between public participation and environmental protection in this siting process.”

The previous power plant siting law expired January 1, 2003.  Since then, electric generating project developers had to obtain applicable state and local permits and approvals without the benefit of a standardized, statewide process.  This law is designed to have these approvals done in a coordinated and comprehensive manner within 12 months.  Given that it takes approximately seven years for new power plants to come on line, including time for development, permitting, construction and interconnection, it is imperative that a power plant siting process be established now.  The requirements of this law will apply to plants of any fuel type producing more than 25 megawatts of power, and will specify a fee scale that will facilitate public participation.  In addition, without an expiration date, this new statute provides some regulatory certainty for investment going forward.  IPPNY looks forward to refining the bill’s requirements for a siting process by working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Department of Public Service to create regulations that would increase regulatory certainty.

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The Independent Power Producers of New York, Inc. (IPPNY) is an Albany-based trade association representing the competitive power supply industry in New York State. IPPNY Members generate over 75 percent of New York's electricity using a wide variety of generating technologies and fuels including hydro, nuclear, wind, coal, oil, natural gas and biomass.