New York Organizations Supporting REV

Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is Governor Cuomo’s plan to “rebuild, strengthen and modernize New York’s energy system. In order to understand how this plan will be implemented it is necessary to know the role of involved State agencies.

REV has three major components:

  1. Public Service Commission’s Reforming the Energy Vision Regulatory Docket which will revise utility regulations,
  2. New York State Energy Research & Development Authority’s Clean Energy Fund that will support specific renewable energy initiatives, and
  3. New York Power Authority’s operations and programs that will “provide a foundation”.

The New York Public Service Commission is the public utilities commission of the New York state government that regulates and oversees the electric, gas, water, and telecommunication industries in New York as part of the Department of Public Service. The department’s regulations are compiled in Title 16 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations.

The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) mission is to “Advance innovative energy solutions in ways that improve New York’s economy and environment”. In addition to encouraging development of new energy technologies, NYSERDA has always had a well-respected environmental research program.

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is the largest state public power organization in the United States. NYPA provides some of the lowest-cost electricity in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. According to the website history: NYPA was originally founded by Franklin Roosevelt as a public power provider for “cheaper electricity in 1931 it was not until St Lawrence power project was developed in 1952 that the first major hydro project was developed. That was followed soon thereafter by the Niagara Power project.

In addition to these agencies the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) plays a key role.

In order to understand the role of the NYISO some background is necessary. According to theory a regulated electric and gas system is inefficient and more expensive because there is no competition between energy providers. The “solution” is to deregulate and remove the barriers to economic competition. In New York the first step towards deregulation was to allow independent power producers to build and operate power plants. The retail markets were opened up to complete New York’s deregulation: As the public demand for deregulation was building, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) passed the Competitive Opportunities Case legislation in 1996 to open up residential energy markets to competition. The New York state legislation had the goal of a competitive wholesale market by 1997 and a competitive retail market by 1998. All utility companies were required to restructure in order to enable these changes.

In response to those requirements New York now has a de-regulated electric market and that requirement forced the New York utility companies to re-structure and get out of the generation business. When they did that NYISO was formed to manage the market. The NYISO operates competitive wholesale markets to manage the flow of electricity across New York—from the power producers who generate it to the local utilities that deliver it to residents and businesses. As such they necessarily have to manage reforming the energy system.

Relevant REV Inconvenient Truth Posts

Reforming the Energy Vision’s components are assigned to several agencies and by function the New York System Operator. The following posts are intended to provide additional information about these organizations and REV.