Envisioning a CCA model that seeks to localize clean energy investments

On December 14, 2014, the PSC launched a proceeding to consider enabling CCA in New York--a move that CLP has been actively advocating at the State level since the beginning of 2014. This is a development of enormous importance to New York’s energy landscape. If done right, the enabling regulations could accelerate the transition to a locally-based clean energy economy and result in greater local democratic control over energy decision-making. The Order contains a NYS Department of Public Service (DPS) Staff White Paper that lays out a number of questions on which DPS is seeking input. CLP has become a party to this proceeding (Case 14-M-0224), and on February 12, submitted comments in response to the questions posed by DPS Staff.  These comments were co-signed by a dozen other organizations, and were endorsed by comments submitted by other parties, including the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the Pace Energy & Climate Center.  

We encourage readers to read our submission to the PSC, as well as comments submitted by Paul Fenn of Local Power Inc., the “father” of CCA. Fenn drafted the first law in the country enabling (in Massachusetts in 1997), and who developed the 2.0 model that CLP has been advocating. We have been working closely with Paul Fenn for the last year, including collaborating on drafting CCA enabling legislation, which was introduced in the State Assembly by Assembly Member Kevin Cahill and sponsored by Senator Kevin Parker in the State Senate.  With the initiation of the REV, CLP’s efforts to bring CCA to New York shifted to the NYS Public Service Commission, where CCA stood a good chance of being advanced because of its alignment with REV goals.

A few weeks ago, CLP members and Paul Fenn met with New York state energy policy-makers and regulators to present on the 2.0 model of CCA and its alignment with REV and the interests of New York’s communities.  Joining the meeting were PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman, as well as numerous staff from NYS DPS, NYSERDA, and NYS DEC. There appeared to be strong support in the room for a model of CCA that seeks to localize clean energy investments and not just procure bulk power in the supply market. Now, we need to get the regulatory framework in place to support it!