Competitive Markets Drive Investment Under REV and EPA's Clean Power Plan

Themes Discussed at IPPNY's 30th Annual Fall Conference

Albany, N.Y. 9/23/15 -  The Independent Power Producers of New York, Inc. (IPPNY) welcomed distinguished guests to IPPNY's 30th Annual Fall Conference - Power Source: Evolution of Energy Policies and Emerging Technologies. The conference featured presentations by top New York energy officials and panel discussions on the State's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) proceeding as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Power Plan. A clear and consistent theme developed among the speakers - competitive markets have been and should continue to be the engine by which State and federal public policy goals are met.

Gil Quiniones, president & CEO of the New York Power Authority (NYPA), kicked off the day with a presentation on the current NYPA initiatives that are planned to upgrade and transform New York's electric transmission networks in support of the state's REV initiative. "We need to digitize our transmission system as we move into this REV world, and make sure that evolving energy infrastructure works with new distributed generation technologies," said Quiniones. With regard to the construction and operation of large-scale renewables facilities, he clarified that NYPA's role "is not to build power plants on a merchant basis and compete with [power producers], but rather to enhance the grid so that it can foster more competitive and efficient markets."

Audrey Zibelman, Chair of the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC), spoke frankly to attendees about the need for New York to consider how capacity markets, which ensure the availability of electric power supply, can better value fuel diversity for electric system reliability, and she affirmed that competitive market solutions are the PSC's preferred option for procuring distributed resources under its REV proceeding.

Discussion of REV continued in the first panel of the day, which tackled the issue of balancing public policy with the effectiveness and efficiency of energy markets. Among the speakers, Michael Weinstein, LLC Investment Analyst for US Electric Utilities, IPPs and Alternative Energy at UBS Securities, contended that an important factor for attracting investment is properly designed markets that send the right price signal and that, if New York is interested in attracting cleaner resources, it needs to get the carbon dioxide emission reduction price right.

Next up, Gavin Donohue, President & CEO of IPPNY, led a panel discussion on the EPA's Clean Power Plan. He provided an overview of how competitive wholesale electricity markets have been a major driver in the State's emissions reduction leadership across the board. "For decades, New York's power sector has led the nation when it comes to emissions reductions, from the Acid Deposition Reduction Program to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)," said Donohue. "These early actions have put New York ahead of the curve, and competitive markets have been the driving force behind this emission reduction success."

Also speaking on the Clean Power Plan panel was Jared Snyder, Assistant Commissioner for Air Resources, Climate Change and Energy at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), who stated that the RGGI States have reduced emissions by almost 50 percent below 2005 levels, affirming that emissions can be reduced without impairing electric system reliability or New York State's economic growth. Mr. Snyder also noted that New York State will be able to meets the emission reductions of the EPA's Plan eight years earlier than the required deadline through participation in the RGGI program. Additionally, John Williams, Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority,  credited the power sector for making "great progress in reducing emissions" but noted that other sectors will need to step up in order for the State to meet its  goals. Additional speakers were representatives from the New York Independent System Operator and the Electric Power Supply Association.

To close out the day, Dan Dolan, President & CEO of the New England Power Generators Association, delivered the keynote address by drawing parallels between New York and New England. He reminded attendees that, as vanguards of emissions reduction policies, both regions would meet the goals of the Clean Power Plan far ahead of schedule, with markets being the common denominator. "There is no question that we are seeing a really unique and dramatic time of transition within the electric industry... I remain absolutely convinced that the competitive electricity markets can continue to support reliability, reduce emissions, and drive a competitive pricing environment for consumers."


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. They have invested over $10 billion in their facilities and employ over 10,000 people. Annually, they pay over $600 million in taxes and invest more than $55 million in their communities.

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