Climate change funds in state budget struggle


As President Donald Trump took a hammer Tuesday to U.S. climate change policy, the state’s climate change program is again in a budgetary fight between Gov. Andrew Cuomo, state lawmakers and environmental advocates.

At issue is what to do with millions of dollars raised by the 9-year-old Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a program that charges electric power plant owners based on emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gas.

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Community solar advocates support using RGGI funds to support industry


Advocates for community solar want the state budget to use $23 million from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative for direct grants to community solar in low-income and environmental justice communities.

The proposal, advanced in the Assembly’s one-house budget, is the best use of that money, wrote a coalition of environmental groups in a letter to state leaders on Monday. The letter was signed by the Energy Democracy Alliance, Environmental Advocates for New York, the Acadia Center and other groups.

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Robinson: New York looks at a new way to value solar power


For years, that nagging question has been at the center of a longstanding disagreement between the solar energy industry, which needs higher prices to compete with electricity produced with fossil fuels, and utilities seeking lower prices to end what they see as subsidies for an uncompetitive power source.

New York utility regulators believe the answer is somewhere in between.

To them, all solar power is not created equal, and the state Public Service Commission this month took a first step to come up with a new way to put a price tag on it.

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Solar advocates still concerned after state OKs shift from net-metering

ALBANY — The state’s utility regulator has approved a plan to move away from a 20-year-old method of paying for electricity from small solar and other energy resources and to a new valuation system to support New York’s renewable energy goals.

The Public Service Commission on Thursday approved a measure that will transition distributed energy resources away from net-metering, which pays for excess electricity sent to the grid at a retail rate, to a more complex and ostensibly complete payment structure. PSC chair Audrey Zibelman, presiding over her last meeting, said the transition was a key part of the state’s Reforming the Energy Vision.

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Changes ahead for how green energy system owners paid for surplus power


State changes to how owners of small-scale solar and other renewable power systems are paid for supplying surplus power to the grid drew mixed reviews from alternative energy advocates on Friday.

On Thursday, the state Public Service Commission voted to replace the long-standing “net metering” system, where solar, wind and fuel cell owners are paid retail prices for surplus power by their local utility. The commission replaced this with a new “distributed energy” program where payments will be recalculated periodically by utilities based on a variety of factors, including location and environmental benefits.

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