A Con Edison Development solar farm
With regard to the recent opinion article by Anne Reynolds of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York:
Our state has already tested the use of long-term power purchase agreements and the result has been high cost for consumers, to the tune of $4.2 billion in above-market rates for Con Edison customers over a 13-year period.
We have a better way to ensure a clean energy future while minimizing the cost to our customers. Utility ownership of large solar and wind farms is the less costly route, and the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority’s own consultants agree with us on this point. We would bid the development and construction of the large-scale renewables to the private sector to get the best price, and then own and operate the facilities at a lower overall cost to customers.
Other states, like Iowa, have achieved high levels of renewable energy without exposing customers to the high costs, risks, and inflexibility of mandatory long-term PPAs. New York should not choose risky, mandatory PPAs when more flexible, lower-cost options with proven records of success are available.
Our state’s utilities have demonstrated an ability to provide safe, reliable, and affordable energy to our customers with our financing and operation of vast, complex energy-delivery systems. We can apply that same expertise to large wind and solar farms by working with private developers to bring benefits to our customers.
Matthew Ketschke is vice president, Distributed Resource Integration, for Con Edison Co. of New York, which serves New York City and Westchester County.