Energy Exchange

New York PSC must ensure charging infrastructure in place for medium and heavy-duty fleet electrification

One thing is clear: The New York Public Service Commission does not shy away from a challenge. Since the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act was adopted in 2019, setting economy-wide greenhouse gas reduction targets and directing the PSC to eliminate emissions from electric generation, the commission has been hard at work updating its programs where its role under the new law is clear, and making sense of the rest.

New York’s decarbonization path is nascent, particularly when it comes to eliminating pollution from activities that do not rely directly on utility systems today, but that will rely on those systems to eliminate their emissions in the future. Trucks and buses are a perfect example. These vehicles are a small slice of the transportation pie, yet they are responsible for an outsized share of the air pollution from transportation, including about half of the transportation-related nitrogen oxide and particulate matter contaminants. These pollutants cause serious health problems, like asthma — especially in communities that experience high truck traffic.

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Posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles, New York / Language: / Comments are closed

The time has come for NYPSC to focus on charging infrastructure for trucks and buses

New York is at a crossroads. Our flagship climate law, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, requires significant emissions reductions statewide. This puts every sector of our economy on the hook to deliver and position New York on a path to climate safety. To achieve the CLCPA’s goals, government agencies, communities and the private sector must work together to establish systems and solutions that reduce climate pollution, improve air quality and equity, and spark economic growth throughout the state.

The CLCPA’s vision cannot be achieved without tackling emissions from the transportation sector, the state’s second largest source of climate pollution and a significant contributor to local air pollution. New York policymakers have recognized this reality, but a transition to new types of vehicles can only be as successful as the infrastructure that powers them. And there, the New York Public Service Commission holds the key to success. That is why EDF, together with parties, has just filed a petition requesting that the Commission take steps to address the charging infrastructure needs of electric trucks and buses in the state.

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Posted in Electric Vehicles, NESCAUM, New York / Language: / Comments are closed

New Jersey BPU’s electric truck and bus charging infrastructure proposal: A solid first step but more is needed

By Elizabeth B. Stein and Pamela MacDougall

New Jersey’s march toward electric trucks and buses has picked up speed in the last few years. This summer, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities released a preliminary proposal outlining the development of charging infrastructure for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles throughout the state, inviting stakeholders to participate in public discussions and provide written comments. This straw proposal has incredible potential to ready New Jersey for the coming wave of electric buses and trucks and to accelerate and build on existing progress.

Environmental Defense Fund filed written comments on this proposal yesterday. The takeaway? Though it sets the stage for some progress, the straw proposal has some gaps that suggest the BPU’s vision for electrifying trucks and buses misses key public benefits and some fundamental realities of how the transformation will occur. As written, it limits the potential and power of a well-calibrated BPU framework for electrifying the sector and risks undermining New Jersey’s climate, clean energy, equity and economic goals.

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Posted in Electric Vehicles, New Jersey / Language: / Comments are closed

New York’s EV plan takes small but critical steps in the right direction

UPDATE: Since the publication of this blog post on June 11, 2020, the New York Public Service Commission released an order that recognizes the legitimacy of calls from stakeholders to address the requirements of both passenger EVs as well as trucks and buses. It proposes a $15 million “make-ready” pilot program for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles that, among other considerations, “must support a direct reduction of diesel emissions located in environmental justice communities through electrification of the medium-duty/heavy-duty vehicles and trucks.” In addition, the commission directs $10 million toward utilities partnering with transit authorities in the state to provide make-ready bus infrastructure in depots, and directs the establishment of a $20 million competition to drive innovation in the medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicle sector. This innovation competition will give heightened consideration to last-mile movement of goods and people in disadvantaged communities. EDF is gratified to see these small but critical steps in the right direction, for the reasons explained in the below blog post, and will work with the commission to ensure these programs are as beneficial as possible.

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Posted in Air Quality, Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles, New York / Language: / Comments are closed

Regulators Take First Step to Ensure New York’s Distributed Energy Future is Clean

New YorkNew York’s environmental and utility regulators are moving closer to a unified approach to building a cleaner, more robust, and affordable energy system.

The Public Service Commission (PSC), New York’s utility regulator, has been working to rethink how New York makes, moves, and uses electricity through its innovative Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative. Specifically, it has been steering utilities toward a more decentralized electric grid, one that relies more heavily on distributed energy resources. These resources may be clean (such as energy efficiency or solar rooftops) but they may also be dirty (such as older diesel generators). While REV aims to encourage carbon emissions reductions, there is a risk that the initiative could cause environmental harm by driving adoption of dirty distributed energy resources. Getting environmental rules in place before REV becomes a driver of these types of emissions is a matter of real urgency. Read More »

Posted in Energy Efficiency, New York / Language: / Read 1 Response

New York’s REV Proceeding Envisions a New Clean Energy Marketplace – but How Clean is it?

nyc downtownDespite its enormous relevance to the struggle to build a cleaner, greener electric system, New York’s ‘Reforming the Energy Vision’ (REV) proceeding is not fundamentally an environmental one. It is concerned with building a new electric marketplace for a broad range of energy resources, some zero-carbon and some not, which are expected to reduce total costs paid by tomorrow’s customers over the long term compared to what would be expected under a ’business as usual’ scenario.

My last blog post described the new electric industry market structure envisioned by New York regulators in the recent Track 1 order of the REV proceeding. As promised, this week I’m providing a closer look at the environmental implications of the new order.

While reducing carbon emissions is one of the six stated goals of the proceeding, it is not the sole thrust. Interestingly, the order begins a deep dive on what decarbonization means for the electric system and discusses various environmental issues at length, potentially raising their profile in the proceeding. Highlighting the importance of environmental issues is a welcome change, but, to accomplish the goal of emissions reductions, the devil is in the details. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Electricity Pricing, Energy Efficiency, Grid Modernization, New York, Renewable Energy, Utility Business Models / Language: / Read 2 Responses