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Key Cuomo renewable efforts delayed again  

Credit:  By Scott Waldman | Apr. 28, 2015 | www.capitalnewyork.com ~~

ALBANY—Two of the Cuomo administration’s major renewable energy efforts have been delayed in the last week.

Key deadlines for a plan to remake the state’s energy grid to accommodate more renewable energy and a plan to grow renewable sources were pushed back, according to documents filed with the Public Service Commission.

The Reforming Eenergy Vision plan to remake the state’s energy grid, which essentially began two months ago, was pushed back by at least a month, according to documents filed last week with the P.S.C. The R.E.V. benefit cost framework is now due June 1.

A P.S.C. spokesman said it was necessary to push back R.E.V. plans to gather more input.

“Considering the critical importance of this initiative, extending the self-imposed deadlines for submittal of certain filings makes perfect sense,” P.S.C. Spokesman James Denn said. “The extension was granted keeping in mind the interests of ratepayers, utilities and the public to ensure all issues are well-informed, thoroughly considered and, to the extent possible, reflect the collective knowledge and wisdom of stakeholders. The extension also provides added time for stakeholder consultations that will inform development straw proposal.”

In addition, the release of additional details on the renewable-growth program, the Clean Energy Fund, is now pushed back to June 8.

This is not the first time the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has missed a deadline on revealing key details of the Clean Energy Fund, which have been heavily anticipated since it was announced about a year ago and involve hundreds of millions of dollars collected from monthly utility bills every year. That also delays public responses to the Clean Energy Fund to July, after the end of the legislative session, which makes it harder for lawmakers to introduce legislation that would impose limitations on the fund’s spending.

Both delays seems to relate to the most closely watched and most controversial pieces of Cuomo’s clean energy reforms, which is their cost. They come as the state is purportedly finishing the final version of its long-delayed energy plan that will prioritize New York’s energy needs for the next generation.

The Clean Energy Fund is one of Cuomo’s signature energy initiatives, a 10-year, $5 billion plan funded by surcharges on electric bills. The program would replace current programs like the System Benefits Charge, the Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard, and the Renewable Portfolio Standard, all of which are to expire this year. It also includes the $1 billion Green Bank, which funds renewable projects across the state.

Source:  By Scott Waldman | Apr. 28, 2015 | www.capitalnewyork.com

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