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Unnecessary complexity? Assessing New York and California's landmark DER proceedings

By District Energy posted 04-04-2018 00:00


Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive


The nation-leading New York and California regulatory proceedings to create a marketplace opportunity for renewable and distributed generation have become almost encyclopedic in their complexity.

This assessment has been reinforced to Utility Dive by multiple sources, prompting the question: Did it have to be that way?

The New York Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is now into its third year and second phase. According to the New York Public Service Commission (NY PSC), it spans at least 16 major proceedings, along with the investor-owned utilities’ rate cases.

There are also four related proceedings, as well as proceedings at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the PSC emailed Utility Dive earlier this year.    

The California Public Utility Commission's (CPUC) work on distributed energy resources (DER) has evolved into twelve major proceedings as well as those overseen by the California Energy Commission and the California Independent System Operator.

The CPUC last year published a seven-page DER Action Plan summarizing its efforts into three categories and 15 "strategic directives" with four "objectives" through 2018. The NY PSC is working on a Roadmap for REV intended to offer the same overview.

What if New York and California started all over again? What if the regulators, policymakers, and utility and non-utility stakeholders knew then what they know now? What would be different? Could it be less complicated? What would the new rules be? 

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