What's New

Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

December 4, 2003

PSC grants request of Council, others to weight cost, reliability issues associated with 'renewables' mandate

The state Public Service Commission (PSC) has granted a request by The Council and others to delay drafting a controversial new energy mandate until the PSC gets more information on its likely effects.

The Nov. 26 ruling will delay at least until February a recommended decision from a PSC administrative law judge on a proposed "renewable portfolio standard" (RPS).

The delay will allow the PSC to await two studies: a preliminary study by the state Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and New York's Independent System Operator (ISO) on reliability, and a new cost analysis by PSC staff.

The judge reserved the right to delay a decision until next December to await the final NYSERDA/ISO reliability study.

The RPS could require New York's individual and business ratepayers to buy at least 25 percent of their electricity from "renewable" such as solar power, wind, and fuel cells by 2013.

The Council has raised concerns about the feasibility of an RPS and how it might affect the cost and reliability of electricity.

New York's last intervention in energy markets, the infamous "six-cent law," still adds hundreds of millions of dollars a year to New Yorkers' energy bills. That law backfired because the state's projections about future energy costs that proved to be wrong.

In seeking the delay, The Council joined the Independent Power Producers of New York State, the Energy Association, and other groups representing electricity generators, utilities, and unions representing workers in the electricity industry.