Recently, the staff of the New York State Department of Public Service issued its recommendations in the Value of Distributed Energy Resources Proceeding. The 68-page report provides a comprehensive discussion regarding the compensation and valuation of distributed energy resources (DER). Among its many recommendations, the report provides that existing rooftop solar systems should continue to receive compensation under their current net energy metering (NEM) contracts for a period of 20 years from the date of initial operation. However, customers can also leave NEM and adopt the new proposed compensation method. Other recommendations include:
- Utilities would develop fee-based, “Virtual Generation Portfolios” – a pool of new DER projects that will be developed in conjunction with private energy companies.
- Interim measures for Community Distributed Generation (CDG) projects that are in the advanced stage of development. For a limited 90-day period, a specific amount of CDG projects can qualify for compensation under the current NEM framework in order to aid the transition to the new methodology and ensure that early CDG development can deliver on increasing DER access to all New Yorkers.
- Distributed Generation projects, such as solar for large commercial customers, fuel cells, farm waste generators and micro combined heat-and-power would also transition to the new methodology following action by the New York Public Service Commission.
- Behind-the-meter generation should be recognized for its environmental value and for contributing to the state’s overall Clean Energy Standard (CES) goal.
Initial comments on the report are due December 5, 2016, with reply comments due December 19, 2016. Action by the New York Public Service Commission on these recommendations is expected in January 2017.