FERC continues to overreach and this time ‘deals blow’ to NYISO. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved four separate orders to narrow exemptions of buyer-side mitigation (BSM) market rules in the New York Independent System Operator’s (NYISO) capacity zones during Thursday’s public meeting, which critics say will stifle the competitiveness of clean energy resources. The decisions would make it more difficult for new clean energy projects expected in the state to clear NYISO’s capacity auction. Clean energy advocates say bidding into NYISO’s capacity market is critical to the financial viability of projects like offshore wind and energy storage. NYISO had proposed exemptions for 1,000 MW of renewable energy resources and the New York Public Service Commission and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority sought to exempt all electric storage resources from the BSM rules, but FERC rejected the proposals. The grid operator is reviewing the order and will have the option to file a rehearing request along with other stakeholders. As it stands now it, NYC storage will be ‘most adversely impacted’ according to the NYISO CEO. via Utility Dive

On a more positive note, New York Governor Cuomo asks the permitting office to expedite project reviews. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D, has proposed a new Office of Renewable Energy Permitting that would “improve and streamline the process” for permitting large-scale renewable energy projects across the state. The Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act was advanced Feb. 21 as a 30-day budget amendment, and if adopted, would consolidate the environmental review of major renewable facilities into a single forum under the New York Department of Economic Development. Projects that have already begun to navigate the current permitting process will be able to opt in to the new process. The new office would aim to ensure complete applications are acted upon within one year, with some former commercial and industrial sites being reviewed within six months. via Utility Dive

New Jersey finalized state incentive transition program. New Jersey will offer a flat 15-year price for its Transition Renewable Energy Certificates, the program designed to carry the state from its successful legacy incentive program to its next, more moderate scheme. In an order issued on Monday, the state’s Board of Public Utilities set the fixed price at $152 per TREC, which a project earns after generating 1 megawatt-hour. Regulators had also weighed a lower price for the first three years of the program, before kicking the price up for the remaining 12 years. The solar industry favored the consistent price option, citing greater price certainty as the state works toward a goal of 100 percent clean energy. Amendments to the state’s 2018 Clean Energy Act helped make the flat $152 price possible, by building in more flexibility for the renewables program cost cap that the original legislation established. When regulators originally proposed the transition program in December, it was unclear whether the state would be able to set a consistent price at the TREC program’s outset. via Greentech Media

Illinois Power Agency announces that capacity is reached for the commercial solar program. Another part of Illinois’ solar boom officially hit a cliff on March 6 when the Illinois Power Agency closed its program for large solar installations. Solar projects for schools, public buildings and businesses in Illinois will now be placed on a waitlist with no guarantee that they will be approved in the future. The development is no surprise to the clean energy industry and advocates who have been highlighting the issue for more than a year. Due to funding constraints, Illinois has already created a waitlist of more than 800 community solar projects statewide and was unable to support the development of new utility-scale wind or solar projects this year. Workers, consumers and advocates for Illinois’ renewable energy industry are asking state legislators to fix this clean energy cliff by passing the Path to 100 Act. The Act would expand Illinois’ renewable portfolio standard to allow for continued growth of wind and solar energy in Illinois. via Solar Power World

Iowa market shows sign of life with utilities and solar advocates reaching a compromise. A proposal in Iowa, which still needs to pass in the legislature, would preserve net metering and let utilities recoup costs faster. After years of tussling over net metering rules, Iowa solar advocates and the state’s largest utility finally found common ground recently on one core point: They all want the policy ground to stop shifting beneath their feet. After multiple fights before state regulators and a conflict-riddled 2019 legislative session, the two parties last spring decided to try to talk their way to agreement. In January, they were able to bring a bill to the legislature that satisfies both sides. The proposal largely maintains net metering as is, but it allows MidAmerican and the state’s other large utility, Interstate Power & Light, the option of measuring energy produced and energy consumed at more frequent intervals. That would provide the utilities with more accurate estimates of the amount of power sent to and taken from the grid. via SolarBuilder Mag

Virginia reaches agreement for 100% Clean Power by 2045. Virginia has become the latest state to pass a law that sets it on a path to 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045, as well as setting targets for massive investments in energy efficiency, energy storage, and in-state solar and wind power. The Clean Economy Act passed Virginia’s House of Delegates by a 51-45 vote on Thursday and the state Senate by a 22-17 vote on Friday, clearing the way for the bill to be signed by Governor Ralph Northam, who issued an executive order calling for it last year. via Greentech Media