Elisa Wood reports in Microgrid Knowledge that New York energy advisors have unveiled a new, more granular way to price distributed energy resources and transition away from net metering, in a proposal released yesterday.
The report, issued by the Department of Public Services staff, said that current pricing methods fail to take into account the full value of distributed energy.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The staff report is available on the Public Service Commission website, Case Number 15-E-0751. It was filed as Appendix C to the Staff Report and Recommendations in the Value of Distributed Energy Resources Proceeding and appendices.
State regulators had called for the report as part of Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), New York’s strategy to create a decentralized power grid. Valuing solar and other forms of distributed energy marks the next major step for REV. The Public Service Commission (PSC) is expected to take action on the new pricing proposal in January.
“With a more-accurate, market-based approach to compensate consumers for the value of their distributed clean energy investments, we will continue to take positive steps towards making these clean resources a core part of our energy system, resulting in significant benefit to New York’s grid and consumers alike,” said Audrey Zibelman, CEO of the Department of Public Services. “Under this cutting-edge framework, consumers, utilities and energy developers will be rewarded for investment decisions based on the full value that clean energy and other distributed energy resources provide to our electric system.”
The proposal gradually transitions New York away from net metering and instead prices distributed energy based on its energy, grid and environmental values. Consumers and businesses now using net metering could continue to do so for up to 20 years. Or they could drop net metering for the new compensation plans.
The proposal also addresses utilities will be paid for distributed energy development. It calls for utilities to create fee-based ‘virtual generation portfolios’. The portfolios would be made up of new distributed energy projects that utilities would develop in partnership with private developers.
Utilities would be paid based on the project’s worth to the utility’s overall operation. This approach recognizes that distributed energy resources “impact the system not solely as individual projects but also as a part of an ecosystem that influences system planning, operation and development,” the report said. Continue reading in Microgrid Knowledge…