The state of New York recently hit 2GW of installed solar power and has five years to install the next 4GW. The state also plans to build 1.5 GW of energy storage capacity by 2025 and 3 GW by 2030 while trying to figure out how to manage a possible winter period solar duck curve and one of the planet’s most unusual cities-Manhattan.
As part of its wider discussion on the importance of distributed energy resources (DER), the New York Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has released a white paper on rate design for a successor tariff for solar power projects below 750kWac for a mass market, Net Metering (NEM). The PUC’s guidelines propose that on-site NEM customers should choose from among defined billing frameworks that include demand charge and variable time-of-use.
As part of the presentation, the PUC staff recommended an additional year to extend net metering for all projects below 750kWac — and this extension was accepted by the PUC.
The chart above shows a DER working group analysis showing the cost shifts from NEM clients to non-NEM clients. The values range from $3.16 per month to $7.28/kWdc. Some of these cost changes involved payments that were charged as taxes by all electricity consumers for clean energy programs that benefit NEM customers. Another idea is to introduce a “Consumer Benefit Contribution” fee ranging from $0.69/kW to $1.09/kW depending on the consumer and utility class to offset these clean energy taxes.
The study sought to compensate for shifts in the return on investment of a project. For example, the above-mentioned Customer Benefit Contribution would have a “relatively subtle impact on solar economics, with projected improvements in simple payback ranging from 0.2 years in Con Edison to 1.4 years in NYSEG, and an average of 0.7 years across all service territories.” The study estimated that 50% of residential solar was consumed instantly on-site— at 50% net-metered, w.
The paper breaks down the four energy billing systems and three sensitivities. The photo above shows a residential electricity bill based on the various billing methods with costs split out. With the above strong and dotted lines, the total costs avoided as well as the input costs avoided are broken out.