ARRC scores victory for solar energy as PSC kills job-killing regs

ALBANY, NY - The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) today issued a stay on new regulations it approved back in December which had lawmakers and clean energy advocates up in arms over new requirements which denied net metering credits to solar development projects currently underway.

State Senator Terrence Murphy and his colleagues, Senators Joseph Griffo and George Amedore, recognizing the importance of large-scale solar projects, had sent a letter of opposition to the PSC regarding that provision of the PSC's order to raise net metering minimum caps and revision tariffs.

"As you know, [the] policy change could significantly jeopardize many projects already in progress throughout the state," they wrote. "We are concerned that [this] significant change in the rules will impact upstate economies of net metering."

According to the Albany Times-Union article 'NY pulls back solar regulations that caused outrage' solar groups and companies argued these requirements would have severely restricted solar development projects already under construction.

As Chairman of the State's Administrative Regulatory Review Commission, Senator Murphy, charged with all proposed agency rule changes and new regulations, stepped in on their behalf. After urging the PSC to balance the interest of rate payers and solar developers, the agency acquiesced in a recent decision and has now grandfathered in hundreds of projects that would have been outlawed under their original proposal.

Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits customers who produce their own renewable energy, including solar power. They are only billed for their electricity use which exceeds the amount of electricity they self-generate.

"By increasing the amount of time needed to effectuate this new policy and more actively manage the transition toward a more equitable payment system, we will safeguard consumers from having to pay more for solar energy in the net metering process," PSC chairman Audrey Zibelman said in a statement. "The Commission's decision will give parties more time to ensure a smooth transition in the modification of the utilites' net-metering rules."