April 23, 2019

New Governor's budget unlocks some $1.4 billion in lower cost financing for clean energy projects across New York State

New York Power Authority (NYPA) Is Granted Authority To Finance Renewable Projects And Directly Provide Electricity To Energy Supply Companies(Executive Budget, Section S1508/A2008, Parts kk & ll)

KATONAH, N.Y., April 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In an unheralded portion of the Executive Budget, state leaders significantly expanded the ability of The New York Power Authority (NYPA) to supply clean electricity to residents by allowing NYPA to finance new renewable generation projects for qualifying municipalities, far more inexpensively than has been developed to date.

Responsive to concerns from the NY Legislature that engaging this agency would atrophy the private markets, the new authority provided within the Executive Budget (Section S1508/A2008, Parts kk & ll) was designed specifically to stimulate the growth and diversity of the private market by requiring NYPA to support extant market participants, in preference to a unilateral and fully integrated market role for the agency.

The authorization will seed development by providing highly competitive capital to wind, hydro and solar developers. This capital will only be available to support power plants that serve residents in municipalities that have activated specific home-rule authority, through a mechanism titled Community Choice Aggregation (CCA).

As a result, communities that pass a CCA local law will now be able to contract for lower-cost renewable power for their residents and small businesses. NYPA's cost of capital is so much lower than what has previously been offered to the market, that these "CCA communities" will gain advantageous terms for their residents unavailable elsewhere. CCA community residents are slated to gain access to new, inexpensive local renewable power. This will create critical support for meeting New York State's target of 70% renewable generation by 2030.

Mike Gordon, CEO of Joule Assets and founder of Community Choice Aggregation for NY State, comments, "We are delighted by this legislation. It creates an amazing opportunity to take a quantum leap in the development of new clean generation resources.  It will not only cleanse the power supply, it will drive local economies with unparalleled near-term development, that will spawn vibrant new industries. By our calculation, it will feed the development of the clean generation market, with a potential for an excess of $1.4 billion of construction around the State, in the next eighteen- to twenty-four months." 

The governor's new budget also authorizes NYPA to facilitate and finance other community owned clean energy initiatives, such as storage, micro-grids, energy efficiency upgrades, etc. 

Mike Gordon continues, "Ubiquitous local ownership of the financial products that fund and access fair and transparent percentages of this new infrastructure will be within municipal leaders' grasp—the clout in every one of these developments will be in local leaders' hands."

Though it has escaped substantial media attention, the measure has attracted deep interest throughout the State.  Before the legislation was passed, 158 of NY State's 1,607 municipalities contacted Joule Assets, as a center of expertise, for further information concerning the potential of the initiative. In excess of 20 key environmental groups worked together to ensure passage of the measures.  

The legislation explicitly authorizes the construction of six large new renewable power plants, providing 400 MWs of supply as well as an unlimited number of smaller (<25 MW) renewable power plants throughout the state.

Further information on the legislation and on how each community may access the capabilities connected with it, is available through Glenn Weinberg (gweinberg@jouleassets.com  or at 646.785.7204)

About Joule Assets
Joule Assets (Joule)
actively empowers businesses, investors, communities, and individuals to capitalize on Sustainable Energy Assets in the US and Europe.  Joule Community Power is leading the energy paradigm shift in New York State by guiding municipalities and residents towards local energy independence and 100% clean energy. Joule Community Power helps municipalities reduce residential energy costs while advancing energy reduction, energy management, and clean energy goals amidst an evolving regulatory environment. With no upfront cost to a municipality or its residents, Joule's first-of-kind, integrated Community Power program helps municipalities and consumers save money and energy by pooling local demand to broker cheaper energy supply contracts for residents and small businesses while creating new revenue opportunities enabled by participation in renewable energy markets, further enabling rapid customer acquisition for solar developers at scale. Joule Community's distinctive expertise in designing and implementing new consumer-protective energy supply contracts was instrumental in the creation of New York State's first Community Choice energy program. Having created the blueprint to guide communities through a smooth and empowering decision process, Joule Community aims to scale its successful CCA model across NY State and beyond.  Joule Community is a division of Joule Assets Inc.