In the state of New York, Westchester County is leading the way on CCA. Their application to form the first pilot community aggregation program has been granted, and the rest of the state is watching and waiting.
As of December, 2015, 41 municipalities are currently included in Sustainable Westchester, representing approximately 855,000 residents — 90% of the county’s population.
While their program will offer two electricity options from which customers can choose, as is required by law, they plan to launch with 100% renewable contracts that will be set to decline over the years, as community solar is able to provide more of the mix.
Sullivan and Ulster Counties recently submitted petitions to the Public Service Commission, requesting authority to form a community aggregation. Putnam County is organizing for exploration to form a CCA management entity, and Madison County is exploring CCA as a way of integrating the local solar project they have in the planning stages.
On Long Island, the counties of Nassau and Suffolk are moving forward with exploratory steps. Further north, a number of cities are pursuing CCA exploration, including Syracuse and Albany.
Pending developments with the Sustainable Westchester pilot program, the Public Service Commission is set to release a statewide order to set the rules for municipal aggregation.
NEW YORK CCA FAST FACTS (updated November, 2015)
• Sustainable Westchester (SW) is the first and (currently) only Community Choice program in New York State, expected to bid for electricity on behalf of over 45 municipalities in Westchester County.
• CCA legislation passed the state legislature in 2014, but was vetoed by the Governor for being too restrictive, in favor of developing a more inclusive and flexible policy.
• PSC issued an Order in December 2014 to explore CCA and open up to petitions for pilots.
• NYS Public Service Commission (PSC) has identified CCA as consistent with New York’s “Reforming the Energy Vision” regulatory framework promoting distributed energy resources (DER), new utility business models, and animated energy markets.
• SW is exploring some very innovative and exciting synergies with DER to deliver added economic, ecological, and resilience benefit to communities, including community solar, microgrids, peak demand management, and demand response.
• Compliant bids for SW program will offer a fixed price product that beats utility rates, as well as a 100% renewable option. Customers will be free to choose.