As the battles for and against net-metering shape up across the country utility commissions will have to decide how they value rooftop solar power. The New York Public Service Commission today voted to approve the first phase of its Value of Distributed Energy Resources order, which will help determine a value for such resources.
Value of distributed energy determinations incorporate all the values that distributed energy resources, like solar and wind power have, including the avoided cost of building new infrastructure to support large power plants, the avoided costs of the emissions-free energy and more. With net-metering utilities often try to downplay the value of distributed solar power.
“The commission’s order is an important initial step toward fully valuing distributed energy resources, such as solar energy, in New York and achieving the state’s clean energy goals,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “We applaud the PSC for its collaborative process and the Cuomo Administration for its commitment to building a robust solar industry, which is delivering more than 8,100 New York jobs. While there is still work to do to achieve the governor’s goal of 3 GW of distributed solar and expand access to community solar, the order lays out a solid framework for the market that we can build upon going forward.”
“Today’s order marks an important milestone in the path to building a cleaner, modern, and more resilient energy system in New York,” added Sean Garren, northeast regional director for Vote Solar. “Thanks to leadership at the administration and commission, the Empire State is delivering consumer savings, local jobs and a healthier environment. While this order has yet to fully expand clean energy access to all New Yorkers, we look forward to doubling down on that commitment to make community solar work throughout the state.”
The new order, which was approved unanimously by the state’s utility commission will help the state put a proper value on the power generated by such sources. It also should provide pricing stability for the power produced and put back on the grid, giving homeowners, investors and solar installers more long-term stability.
The order also will grandfather some community solar projects and large commercial customers onto the current rate. The new order will also sets a new tariff for community solar customers and larger commercial projects.
“Today’s commission action enables the community solar market to finally begin moving forward in New York, bringing local clean energy and electricity bill savings to thousands of customers, even if they don’t have a sunny roof,” said Jeff Cramer, Executive Director of the Coalition for Community Solar Access. “However, there is much more work to be done to actually make community solar available at the scale necessary to meet consumer demand, especially upstate, and to meet the governor's laudable renewable energy goals. We look forward to working with the administration to translate its commitment to community solar from vision to reality.”Tweet