On August 1, 2016, the New York Public Service Commission issued another groundbreaking order, establishing a new Clean Energy Standard("CES"). Much of the responsibility for implementation of the CES will rest with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority ("NYSERDA").
Key aspects include a requirement that, by 2030, 50 percent of New York’s electricity will come from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. Energy suppliers, including utilities and other load serving entities ("LSEs"), will be required to phase in renewable power resources starting with 26.31 percent of the state's load in 2017, increasing to 30.54 percent in 2021, and reaching 50 percent by 2030.
All LSEs, including utilities and unregulated suppliers of energy, will be required to procure renewable energy certificates ("RECs") to satisfy this requirement or make alternative compliance payments to NYSERDA. NYSERDA will also purchase zero emission credits ("ZECs") to offer support to nuclear zero-carbon electric facilities, which have been struggling as a result of low oil prices, and LSEs will be required to purchase ZECs from NYSERDA. Finally, NYSERDA has been requested to devise a mechanism to maximize the potential for offshore wind in New York.