As you may recall, back in spring 2014, the New York Public Service Commission started the process of redefining the roles of electric utilities and changing the regulatory framework to facilitate much larger use of distributed energy resources (DER). On February 26, 2015, the Commission released its first major order in the REV proceeding. The so-called Track One order lays out the basic policy framework for this “Reforming the Energy Vision” (REV), and its implementation and set a timeline for the next phases of the proceeding. The order addressed foundational issues such as the role of the utility as “Distributed System Platform” provider, and the role of the utility in DER ownership and energy efficiency programs.
The order clarified important aspects of REV, such as the expectation that utilities will incorporate energy efficiency more directly in their planning and operations and the PSC’s plans for streamlining interconnection requests and increasing the limit for standard interconnection from 2 MW to 5 MW. The order also drew clear boundaries limiting regulated utility ownership of DER assets – instead, the utilities will be responsible for creating the DSP, whereas customers and third-party providers will be the ones to deploy and own most of the DER.
The most recent update came this week in the form of a “Straw Proposal,” which is the next stage of the proceeding – Track Two – and presents a framework to focus discussion and comment on implementation.
The Advanced Energy Economy released this statement on the straw proposal:
“We welcome the release of this straw proposal, which is the next step in making the new energy vision in New York a reality,” said Lisa Frantzis, Senior Vice President of Advanced Energy Economy, a national business association, which has been an active participant in the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) regulatory proceeding before the New York Public Service Commission. “The straw proposal will focus discussion and comment on key elements necessary for implementation of REV, such as new revenue models for utilities, outcome-based incentives and metrics, and new rate designs that encourage the growth of distributed energy resources. We look forward to continued engagement with all stakeholders to advance Governor Cuomo’s ground-breaking initiative to build a clean, resilient, affordable and customer-focused electric power system.”