The State’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program aims to increase the percentage of electricity consumed in New York State that is generated from renewable energy sources. The program is overseen by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and implemented by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The RPS program has a specific goal: to generate 30 percent of the electricity consumed in the state from renewable energy sources by 2015. To fund the costs of the RPS program, the Public Service Commission (PSC) has imposed a fee collection schedule that is mandatory for all investor-owned electric utilities in the state.
In 2012, we collected approximately $87 million in RPS fees from electric customers; under the current collection schedule, this fee will peak at $138 million in 2015. This New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)-implemented program is currently on-target to achieve the goals set forth in the PSC order authorizing the program. We will also monitor the impacts and focus of the RPS program. Of particular concern is the geographic distribution of the program’s spending. After receiving comments in 2010 and 2011 from Con Edison and others on the lack of significant renewable energy development in the downstate region, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) developed and implemented a new initiative within the RPS program, called the Regional Program, which reserves $25 million per year over five years for solar and biogas incentives in NYISO Zones I and J, which comprise a large majority of Con Edison’s service territory. This program serves as an example of changes to the RPS program that the company will advocate for in the future should geographic balance continue to be an issue.