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Our attorneys stay on top of changes in legislation, agency regulations, case law, and industry trends—then craft timely legal alerts to keep clients up to date on legal developments important to their business.

January 10, 2024

NYS Governor Hochul Embraces Green Energy in Annual State of the State Address

On January 9, 2024, in her annual State of the State address, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced several clean energy initiatives for 2024. Among the numerous announcements are the following proposed regulatory programs and changes.

Transmission Siting Reform 

Governor Hochul’s State of the State Book proposed the Renewable Action Through Project Interconnection and Deployment (RAPID) Act. The RAPID Act will create a one-stop shop for the environmental review and permitting of major renewable energy and transmission facilities within the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) at the Department of Public Service (DPS). ORES’s jurisdiction currently only extends to major renewable energy facilities (20 to 25 megawatts in capacity or larger) and certain related transmission lines under 10 miles. This proposal would appear to expand the ORES’s current jurisdiction to include other transmission line projects currently under the jurisdiction of the New York Public Service Commission (PSC).  Also, while ORES is currently housed within the Department of State (DOS), this proposal would move ORES to be housed within DPS in the coming year. 

Expansion of Distributed Energy Resources 

Governor Hochul will direct DPS to open a proceeding to improve the interconnection of distributed energy resources. This new proceeding will evaluate new incentives, penalties, and other mechanisms for New York State utilities to facilitate faster and more efficient interconnection. In addition to this proceeding, Governor Hochul is also proposing to expand the state’s Statewide Solar for All program. The expanded program would give low-income customers enrolled in utility energy affordability programs credits from community solar projects.

Gas Transition Reform

Governor Hochul’s State of the State Book proposed the Affordable Gas Transition Act, which, among other things, seeks to end the “100-foot rule” that requires other customers to subsidize new gas hookups and the “obligation to serve.” The PSC will also start a new proceeding to explore how clean technologies can provide neighborhood-scale solutions that address this changing gas landscape.  

Barclay Damon’s attorneys will continue to monitor these important regulatory proposals and provide updates accordingly.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Brenda Colella, Regulatory Practice Group leader and Regulatory Practice Area co-chair, at bcolella@barclaydamon.com; Yvonne Hennessey, Environmental Practice Area chair, at yhennessey@barclaydamon.com; Ekin Senlet, Regulatory Practice Area co-chair, at esenlet@barclaydamon.com; Dan Krzykowski, associate, at dkrzykowski@barclaydamon.com; or another member of the firm’s Regulatory or Environmental Practice Areas.
 

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