PSC to hold public hearings on the proposed Clean Energy Standard (CES)

On May 26, the PSC will be holding public hearings on the proposed Clean Energy Standard (CES), which will require that utilities and other “load-serving entities,” including ESCOs, procure a portion of their electricity from renewable energy sources each year in order to ensure that the State meets its goal of consuming 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030--a much-needed mandate that CLP strongly supports. We would also like to see a similarly strong commitment to achieving aggressive energy efficiency targets. The CES Cost Study prepared by the NYS Dept. of Public Service supports the need for a comparable focus on energy efficiency: While the study found that the impacts of the CES on energy costs are expected to be modest, this finding depends critically on assumptions about total demand for energy. Investments in energy efficiency also tend to be the most cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for electricity customers.

A provision of the CES that CLP does not support is the mandated procurement of power from nuclear sources. Under the current plan, this subsidization of nuclear power, which is neither clean nor safe, is entirely open-ended, with no plan in place for phasing out nuclear power and replacing it with clean, renewable resources. CLP advocates a “Diablo Canyon” approach similar to what is being undertaken in California, in which a collaborative plan was developed among stakeholders to phase out the utility’s production of nuclear power by 2025 and replace it with new renewable resources.

We strongly encourage the public to attend one of the public hearings and call for a strong, renewable clean energy standard.  The hearings for the Mid-Hudson area will be held at Kingston City Hall, 420 Broadway, with the first session beginning at 2 pm and the second session beginning at 6 pm. Here is a helpful backgrounder and recommendations prepared by CLP.

You can find CLP’s submissions to the PSC here (initial comments), and here (reply comments).