Bill Memo: Just Energy Transition Act
The New York Energy Research and Development Authority is directed to develop a study on the replacement of New York’s fossil fuel facilities and their sites by 2030. The Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Public Service are directed to develop programs to carry out the strategies identified in the study, and the Public Service Commission is required to issue an order ensuring its implementation. The requirements outlined in this bill will allow New York to progress towards achieving 100% renewable generation.
This bill authorizes and directs the New York Energy Research and Development Authority to develop a study on the replacement of New York’s fossil fuel facilities and their sites by 2030. The Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Public Service are prompted to develop implementation strategies to be carried out by an order from the Public Service Commission.
According to the Climate Action Council’s Final Scoping Plan, achieving a 100% zero-emission power grid will require phasing out the use of fossil fuel generation over time. New York should have a detailed process in place to ensure that generators are safely retired while maintaining reliability. The measures outlined in this legislation will move the state towards achieving that goal.
While this bill targets all fossil fuel generators across the state, peaker plants are likely to be a top priority. Peaker plants are typically old, dirty, inefficient electric generating units that are only called on to supply the electric grid during times of peak power demand. Despite the infrequency of their operations, these facilities are propped up by capacity payments through markets run by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO). A report by the PEAK Coalition identified $4.5 billion in capacity payments to peaker plants located in New York City in the last ten years. These plants also negatively impact public health in their host communities, according to another study by the PEAK Coalition.
In order to maintain reliability in the absence of these plants, New York is planning transmission expansion projects to ensure that renewable energy is accessible to communities in New York City that rely on peaker plants for power and suffer negative public health impacts from their emissions. Additionally, funds will be made available to localities from the electric generation facility cessation mitigation fund to make up for any lost property tax revenue.
Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Substantial Benefit
Memo #: 17