Memorandum in Support S.4021 (Griffo)

March 3, 2015

S.4021 (Griffo) – AN ACT to amend the public authorities law, in relation to certain reports of the New York state energy and research development authority

The Independent Power Producers of New York, Inc. (IPPNY) is a trade association representing companies involved in the development of electric generating facilities, the generation, sale, and marketing of electric power, and the development of natural gas facilities in the State of New York. IPPNY represents over 75 percent of the electric generating capacity in New York.

IPPNY supports the passage of S.4021 (Griffo). This legislation would increase public transparency on the status and use of monies under the programs administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

The bill would require NYSERDA to submit to the Governor, the New York State Public Service Commission, and to the leaders of both the New York State Senate and Assembly and of their energy and fiscal committees a semi-annual report containing information on programs such as the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The report would include information such as: the amount of money collected by these programs; the amount of money that is encumbered, unencumbered, expended, and contracted for under the programs; the amount of monies transferred out of such programs; and which existing program activities no longer would be funded as a result of such transfers.

For the RPS program, earlier this year, NYSERDA stated its intention to repurpose $815 million to the proposed $5 billion Clean Energy Fund (which also consists of other collections from ratepayers). The $815 million originally was slated for the development of large-scale renewable energy resources under the Main Tier of the RPS program. The current goal of having 30 percent of the electricity consumed by New Yorkers come from renewable energy resources by 2015 has not been achieved; yet, RPS Main Tier monies dedicated for this purpose would be moved. This transfer would be in addition to the $198.4 million relocated from this funding category to the New York Sun Program from 2012 through 2013.

IPPNY continues to oppose any transfer of monies away from the RPS Main Tier, given that the report on the 2013 review of this program (which was to have determined its future) indicated that investments in renewable energy resources through the Main Tier are the most cost-effective manner to obtain these resources. Two years later, by March 12, 2015, NYSERDA is to propose how the Clean Energy Fund will support the RPS Main Tier through 2016. NYSERDA is to issue at least one solicitation this year and another next year, in order to secure more large-scale renewable resources. RPS Main Tier monies should continue to be allocated to these renewable projects through more solicitations.

For the RGGI program, the proposed 2015-2016 Executive Budget would divert $36 million to the State General Fund. In 2014, $52.9 million in RGGI monies was provided to the New York Green Bank, and NYSERDA has proposed to switch $195.375 million in unspecified “available cash balances in dedicated clean energy accounts” to the Green Bank. In 2009, $90 million in RGGI monies was deposited into the State General Fund, and $112 million was transferred to the Green Jobs Green New York program.

For the reasons stated above, IPPNY supports S.4021 (Griffo).





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