Clean Energy

New York’s Clean Energy Standard (CES) is the most comprehensive and ambitious clean energy goal in the State's history. The CES is designed to fight climate change, reduce harmful air pollution, and ensure a diverse and reliable low carbon energy supply. To help achieve these goals, the CES requires that 50 percent of New York's electricity come from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind by 2030, with a progressive phase-in schedule starting in 2017. By focusing on low carbon energy sources, the CES will bring investment, economic development, and jobs to New York State.

Download a shareable CES fact sheet Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. [PDF]

Turning Targets into Reality

The CES creates two mechanisms to turn New York State’s ambitious clean energy goal into a reality. Together the renewable energy standard (RES)The Renewable Energy Standard (RES) –
A part of the Clean Energy Standard. The RES has three parts: Tier 1 obligation for utilities and other LSEs; Tier 2 obligation for older generators in financial risk; and a third, new program focused on offshore wind resources.
and the zero-emissions credit (ZEC) requirementZero Emissions Credit (ZEC) –
A credit for generating one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity with zero-emissions (no carbon) attributes that is consumed by a retail customer in New York State.
will help create a low carbon energy system.

  • The RES requires every load serving entity (LSE)Load Serving Entity (LSE) –
    These are often called utilities or electric companies, but LSEs include any entity or organization: utilities, municipal electric systems and electric cooperatives, authorized or required to supply energy or energy-related services to retail customers.
    in New York State to procure renewable energy credits (RECs)Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) –
    A certificate that is proof that one MWh of electricity was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource.
    associated with new renewable energy resources—known as Tier 1—for their retail customers. If LSEs cannot demonstrate they are meeting the Tier 1 obligation through the possession of RECs, they may make alternative compliance payments (ACPs).
  • The ZEC requirement mandates the LSEs procure ZECs from NYSERDA. The number of ZECs is based on each LSE’s proportionate amount of statewide load, or energy demanded, in a given compliance year.

The New York Generation Attribute Tracking System (NYGATS) will record and track information on electricity generated, imported, and consumed within New York State. Additionally, NYGATS will demonstrate LSE compliance with, and progress toward, the CES goal.

LSEs that elect to purchase RECs or that are required to purchase ZECs from NYSERDA.

Renewable energy generators and developers interested in long-term REC procurement contracts from NYSERDA, future NYSERDA REC solicitations, RES eligibility, and RES certification.