Maintains the continued viability of the state's existing biomass facility which is located within a military installation by deeming such facility a renewable energy system within the renewable energy program established by the public service commission by its order adopting or modifying the clean energy standard.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A9127
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to maintain the continued viability of the state's existing biom-
ass facility which is located within a military installation
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To allow for the continued operation of a biomass facility located on a
military installation and providing 100% of the military installation's
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Legislative Intent
Section 2: Deems any existing electric generating facility located with-
in a military installation and that utilizes untreated, uncontaminated,
and source-separated biomass that is woody or herbaceous matter grown
for the purpose of being consumed as an energy feedstock and that is
harvested using sustainable forest management practices and guidelines
as outlined by the department of environmental conservation a renewable
energy system within the Clean Energy Standard. This status, and the
existing renewable energy credit contract, shall continue until November
30, 2034 or until there is alternative compensation for the attributes
associated with the electricity generation of an existing biomass facil-
ity located within a military installation sufficient to ensure contin-
ued operation of such facility.
Section 2: Sets forth the effective date.
Since the inception of New York's renewable energy policy, beginning
with the PSC Order approving the Renewable Portfolio Standard in 2004,
biomass has been considered a renewable technology and has been helping
New York advanced towards its renewable energy targets for nearly two
However, in 2019 the Legislature passed and the Governor signed the
Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), legislation
that excluded bioenergy from the definition of "renewable energy
systems." The CLCPA also, for the first time in New York's history,
included statutorily defined renewable energy and emissions reduction
targets while creating a 22-member Climate Action Council (CAC) respon-
sible for developing a Scoping Plan to achieve the state's bold clean
energy and climate agenda.
Over the course of the last year, the CAC and its numerous Advisory
Panels have held hundreds of public meetings, reviewed studies and
collected comments from across the state in an effort to draft the Scop-
ing Plan. While the work of the Climate Action Council continues and the
final Scoping Plan will not be complete until December 2022, the role of
bioenergy continues to be discussed by many of the Advisory Panels and
the Council itself.
While the CAC continues the debate over the role of bioenergy, the only
grid-scale biomass facility in New York may be forced to terminate oper-
ations when its current NYSERDA REC contract expires in May 2023 if
bioenergy is no longer supported under the State's renewable energy
programs. In addition to the environmental benefits that a carbon-neu-
tral biomass facility provides, the baseload 60-MW Black River biomass
facility has other critical benefits, including economic benefits to the
North Country economy and energy security and resiliency for Fort Drum
and the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division.
Located inside the fence at the Fort Drum U.S. Army installation, the
Black River facility provides 100% of Fort Drum's energy and sells its
excess to the grid. ReEnergy invested more than $50 million to retrofit
this former coal-burning facility to utilize biomass as its fuel and to
construct an interconnection system between the facility and Fort Drum's
two substations, allowing the installation to operate as a microgrid,
providing energy security and resiliency for Fort Drum. Unlike other
renewable energy systems, the Black River biomass facility operates 24-7
while supporting approximately 300 direct and indirect jobs with an
annual spend of more than $25 million.
As the Climate Action Council works to develop the state's plan on meet-
ing New York's climate goals, this legislation is critical.to ensure the
Black River biomass facility continues operations and provides energy
security to Fort Drum, grid reliability while displacing fossil fuels
and supports the North Country's sustainable forest products industry.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
This act shall take effect immediately.