New York PSC Staff Proposes Nuclear Energy Subsidy

On July 8, 2016 the New York Public Service Commission Staff (NYPSC) issued for public comment its “Responsive Proposal for Preserving Zero-Emission Attributes” in which Staff proposes to subsidize the zero emission attributes from nuclear facilities when there is a “public necessity to encourage their preservation.”  The NYPSC Staff issued its proposal in response to comments that the Commission received on the proposed component of the Clean Energy Standard to encourage the preservation of environmental values or attributes of zero-emissions nuclear-powered electric generating facilities.

The Zero-Emissions Credit (ZEC) program would be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).  Owners of qualifying facilities would enter into contracts with NYSERDA to produce ZECs and sell them to NYSERDA.  The ZEC value would be administratively set based on the U.S. Interagency Working Group’s projected social cost of carbon.  In turn, load serving entities would be responsible for purchasing ZECs from NYSERDA in proportion to their electric load compared to the total electric load served by all load serving entities in the New York Control Area.

The NYPSC will make the determination of whether there is a “public necessity;” however, Staff projects that there is a public necessity for subsidies for zero-emission attributes for the Fitzpatrick, Ginna, and Nine Mile facilities, and that there is no current public necessity for any other nuclear facility.

Comments on Staff’s proposal are due by July 18, 2016.

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