New York Adopts Aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard

September 22, 2004

The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) voted on September 22 to require that at least 25% of the electricity sold to consumers in New York State be generated from renewable resources by 2013. Governor George Pataki proposed the 25% goal in his 2003 State of the State address, and the Commission began exploring the development of a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in February 2003. (See "State Energy News" in the January – February 2003 edition of Conservation Update.)

New York's green marketing program will provide at least 1% of the renewable sales to meet the renewable energy requirement. The state will then need to add approximately 3,700 megawatts of electricity generation capacity using renewable energy resources to meet the 25% target. In addition to setting the target percentage, the RPS addresses matters such eligibility for participation, procurement structures, and implementation.

The PSC anticipates a modest impact on customer bills. In fact, wholesale energy prices are likely to decline as the addition of substantial amounts of renewable resources offsets some of the program costs. The RPS starts January 2006 and should reduce statewide air emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 6.8%, sulfur dioxide (SO2) by 5.9%, and carbon dioxide (CO2) by 7.7%. And the commission will review the RPS in 2009.