AEE Supports New York’s Order for Oversight of Solar, Wind, and Other Distributed Energy Resources
Public Service Commission order is part of its electricity system transformation proceeding, known as NY REV
Washington, D.C., October 26, 2017 — Today, national business organization Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) issued the following statement in reaction to New York State Public Service Commission’s (PSC) release of an order pertaining to oversight of distributed energy resource (DER) providers. DER technologies include solar, wind, demand response, energy storage, and other technologies that operate in decentralized locations, closer to load, and may be developed and owned by third-party non-utility providers. On Oct. 19, the PSC issued the 92-page order in its Reforming the Energy Vision (NY REV) proceeding to transform the state’s electricity system to one that is clean, more resilient, and affordable for New Yorkers. AEE Institute, AEE’s nonprofit educational affiliate, and AEE’s state and regional partners, Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY) and Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC), have been active participants in the NY REV process.
"For the market for distributed energy resources to thrive, consumer confidence is essential,” said Lisa Frantzis, senior vice president for strategy at national business group, Advanced Energy Economy. “But there is a balance between taking steps to protect consumers from harm and letting the competitive market work. We are pleased to see the PSC taking an incremental approach with this order. For large commercial and industrial customers, who are capable of representing their own interests with DER providers, there will be minimal oversight of transactions. Rather, the focus will be on ensuring transparency and fair treatment for mass-market customers. This is putting oversight where it belongs.”
“The PSC’s approach to oversight of companies providing innovative distributed energy services is less heavy-handed than originally proposed, which recognizes that there is currently is not a problem to be solved, and strikes a good balance between necessary consumer protection and encouraging these companies to enter New York’s market,” said Anne Reynolds, executive director of ACE NY.
“The goal of New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision is animating a DER market. Consumer protections are important but must be considered in light of ensuring that they do not present obstacles to the development of a fair and robust competitive market,” said Janet Gail Besser, executive vice president of NECEC. “The PSC order recognizes the need to ensure that customers have both protection and choices for their energy products and services.”
The issue of DER oversight has been under consideration in New York since February 2015, when the PSC included its scope of proposed oversight of DER providers in its Track 2 order in the NY REV proceeding. Following that order, Department of Public Service (DPS) staff issued a white paper in July of 2015, and a revised white paper in April of 2017. AEE Institute, like several other parties to the proceeding, was concerned that the staff proposals, particularly the revised white paper issued in April, set overly burdensome regulations and other requirements on DER providers and would have applied those regulations too broadly.
This order, which takes a lighter touch to oversight, is not the end of the discussion, but more of a beginning. In addition to posing additional questions in the order, with comments due on January 8, 2018, this area is expected to evolve as the DER market matures and grows in New York and elsewhere.
About AEE and AEE Institute
The Advanced Energy Economy Institute is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to raise awareness of the public benefits and opportunities of advanced energy. AEE Institute provides critical data to drive the policy discussion on key issues through commissioned research and reports, data aggregation and analytic tools. AEE Institute also provides a forum where leaders can address energy challenges and opportunities facing the United States. AEE Institute is affiliated with Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), a 501(c)(6) business association, whose purpose is to advance and promote the common business interests of its members and the advanced energy industry as a whole. AEE and its State and Regional Partner organizations are active in 27 states across the country, representing more than 1,000 companies and organizations in the advanced energy industry. Visit AEE Institute at https://www.aee.net/aeei and AEE online at https://www.aee.net/.