The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) approved $5 billion Thursday to help fund Gov. Andrew Cuomo's ambitious clean energy campaign, despite opposition from the state Senate. The "Clean Energy Fund" will finance research, innovation and market development to help the state meet Cuomo's goal of generating 50 percent of New York's power from renewable sources, and a 40 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions, by 2030.
The state Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, sent a letter to the PSC asking them not to approve the money because they said there isn't proof that the benefits outweigh the costs of the initiative. But, PSC chair Audrey Zibelman said the investment will ultimately lead to lower energy bills.
"What this represents is a $5 billion collection over ten years that will allow us to achieve $39 billion in savings," Zibelman said. "Don't know anyone who could calculate that as anything other than the benefits exceed the cost."
The bulk of the funding for the $5 billion Clean Energy Fund will come from rate payers, but PSC officials say the amount consumers will pay will decrease over the next decade, including by $91 million this year as the private sector begins investing in the energy market as well.