Last Thursday, Gov. Cuomo announced that the Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved the Clean Energy Fund to encourage the development of renewable sources of electricity such as wind and solar.
The 10-year, $5 billion program is expected to “accelerate the growth of New York’s clean energy economy, address climate change, strengthen resiliency in the face of extreme weather and lower energy bills for New Yorkers starting this year.” According to the Governor, the fund is also expected to “attract and leverage third-party capital to support the Governor’s aggressive Clean Energy Standard, one of the nation’s most ambitious goals to meet 50 percent of our electricity needs with renewable resources by 2030.”
Shortly before the PSC’s vote on the Clean Energy Fund, the Senate Republican Conference asked the PSC to delay its vote. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Suffolk County), Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) and Senate Energy Committee Chair Joe Griffo (R-Utica) wrote that they objected to the plan’s current formulation because it does not require legislative approval, and because the administration had not conducted an analysis on what it would cost ratepayers. The PSC did not agree to the request.
We have no problem with the state’s effort to promote renewable energy resources, but we do think that lawmakers – and the public – should be able to get information about exactly how (and when) these changes will save energy consumers money, as Gov., Cuomo has promised.