New York PSC affirms Joule Assets’ opt-out community solar program

Joule Assets

We’re reported previously that Joule Community Power, a division of Joule Assets, launched an opt-out community solar program in New York, in which customers would be integrated into the program unless they said otherwise. Seemed cool to us, but was it legal?

This week, the State of New York Public Service Commission (PSC) issued a declaratory ruling affirming that Joule Assets is permitted to offer Community Distributed Generation (CDG) on an opt-out basis as part of an integrated program that includes a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) electricity supply product. To date, five municipalities in three utility service territories already have been approved by the Department of Public Service to offer opt-out community solar, including two launching now.

Twenty-one municipalities in NY State so far have authorized Joule to administrate integrated opt-out programs that include both CDG and electricity supply offerings. To serve these communities, Joule has already contracted for 25-MW of CDG and issued three additional solicitations expected to be awarded later this year seeking 250+ MW of CDG capacity in three service territories.

The PSC stated regarding the decision, referring to several outstanding proposals (including Joule’s) that would allow CCA programs to proceed with or without active electricity programs in parallel, “This Declaratory Ruling clarifies our current rules while further consideration is given to matters pending before the Commission that seek authorization to offer independent CDG products on an opt-out basis.”

“We are happy to have received this decision from the PSC confirming Joule’s ability to do business under our current parallel supply/CDG offerings,” stated Joule CEO Jessica Stromback. “This regulatory certainty allows opt-out CDG to continue to function in the rest of the state—providing 10% reductions on solar credits to our municipal residents beginning with Low- and Moderate-Income residents.  This is good news for Joule, good news for residents, and good news for the CDG industry.”

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