There are agreements between host communities and renewable energy projects in New York that benefits residents mainly affected by these projects. Recently, Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefits Act (the “Act”) was passed by the New York State. The Act’s main purpose is directing the Public Service Commission (“Commission”) to formalize beneficial approaches such as utility bill credit program’s authorization to urge Major Renewable Power Facilities to benefit local ratepayers.
This program implementation process kicked off on 23rd September 2020, when the proposal was set forth by the Department of Public Service Staff (“Staff”) for a Host Community Benefits Program. On 10th November, there was a forum for all stakeholders. Initial and reply comments are expected on 10th and 21st December, respectively. The Program will be created using an Order that will be represented at the Commission’s on January or February next year session.
Host Community Benefit Program
In the Whitepaper, Staff recommends a bill credit program to the entire state known as the Host Community Bill Program (“Program”). The Program suggests that for the first 10 years that the project will operate, the owners of renewable power facilities must pay an annual fee to wind projects, which amounts to $1000 per megawatt (MW) and $500 per MW for solar projects. The fee applies to facilities that have 25 MW or more in capacity. The fees collected would be used to finance bill credits, which might be shared equally to customers who reside in a city or town where most Renewable Energy Facilities are situated.
In ensuring that the Program achieves its intended purpose, Staff has suggested in the Whitepaper that it is a must for the bill credit to be easily recognized on the customer’s bill, which will be in an annual rebate. They also recommend that the benefit must be substantial.
To get the most convenient amount of bill credit, Staff has clearly stated in the Whitepaper that they would examine the effect of the $ per megawatt annual fee of future projects. Staff suggests a formula that they believe will balance between providing appropriate benefit for host communities residents and the heavy burden imposed on ratepayers all over the state.
Lastly, Staff recommends that the utilities would govern the Program. In operation, the facilitator would recognize the Major Renewable Energy Facility related to the Program fee and the location where this facility is situated. The utilities would then be used to discover the appropriate residential customers and give the bill credit to the bill’s relevant utility customers.https://minernews.io/