Energy Committee Update
November 21, 2011

Staff Contact: Darren Suarez

Energy Committee Alert

The next meeting of The Business Council’s Energy Committee will be Tuesday, November 29th, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at our offices at 152 Washington Avenue in Albany.

At the meeting, Tom Congdon Deputy Secretary of Energy will discuss ongoing and upcoming energy matters for New York State.  

Additionally, there will be a discussion of the Energy Committee's priority issues for the upcoming legislative session including but not limited to discussion of renewable subsidies, wage mandates, real property tax reforms, and mandate reform. There will also be discussion of administrative actions including the state energy plan, environmental justice, and Article Ten.

Public Service Commission Tables Covanta RPS Request

On November 17, the Public Service Commission delayed a vote on Covanta Energy Corporation’s request to include the facilities in the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard program. Covanta Energy Corporation has submitted a petition seeking the inclusion of Energy-from-Waste (EfW) as a technology that is eligible to participate in the Main Tier of the New York Public Service Commission's Renewable Portfolio Standard ('RPS") program.

The staff of the Department of Public Service urged the commission to deny Covanta’s petition, citing concerns about emissions.

Several of the Commissioners had asked for further review of the project. Many of the Commissioners referenced the issues associated with geographic inequities of RPS funding. Additionally, Commissioners requested a review of the data and regarding the emissions that the waste-for-energy plants produce. No deadline was provided for the Public Service Commission to redress the petition.

Public Service Commission Seeks Input on Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS)

On October 13, 2011, the Commission discontinued the existing mechanism for utility shareholder incentives as of January 1, 2012. The Commission stated its intention to adopt a new incentive mechanism in the first quarter of 2012.

The PSC is seeking input from interested parties regarding a utility shareholder incentive mechanism covering EEPS programs in the years 2012-2015.  Parties should submit comments not later than January 10, 2012.

NYSERDA Conducts State Energy Planning Board Meetings

On October 26, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) conducted a meeting of the State Energy Planning Board. During the meeting the board adopted regulations to implement Article 6 of the State Energy Law. Some questions were raised about the need to republish the regulations due to amendments since publication. A presentation was provided on the draft scoping documents. There was a discussion of the board’s role in the review of potential externalities associated with high volume hydro fracturing, the issue was determined should be the focus Department of Environmental Conservation’s review of shale gas drilling.

Assembly to Conduct Hearing on the Potential Closure of Indian Point

On December 8, the Assembly Standing Committee on Energy and the Assembly Standing Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions will conduct a hearing to examine the impact of the potential closure of Indian Point on New York's economy and electrical system, and identify alternatives to offset or replace power provided by Indian Point. The hearing is by invitation only, but the Business Council will be submitting testimony.