Tier 4 – New York City Renewable Energy

The Public Service Commission’s October 15, 2020 Order [PDF] establishes a new Tier 4 within the Clean Energy Standard (CES) in response to NYSERDA’s CES White Paper. The new Tier 4 will increase the penetration of renewable energy into New York City (NYISO Zone J), which is particularly dependent on polluting fossil fuel-fired generation. NYSERDA’s CES White Paper found that without displacing a substantial portion of the fossil fuel-fired generation that New York City currently relies upon, the statewide 70 by 30 Target would be difficult to achieve.

Through Tier 4, the State will procure the unbundled environmental attributes (in the form of Tier 4 RECs) associated with renewable generation delivered into Zone J. These environmental attributes include the avoidance of GHG emissions, as well as the avoidance of local pollutants such as NOx, SOx, and fine particulate matter.                         


Tier 4 is open to the following renewable energy systems: solar thermal, photovoltaics, on-land wind, hydroelectric, geothermal electric, geothermal ground source heat, tidal energy, wave energy, ocean thermal, and fuel cells which do not utilize a fossil fuel resource in the process of generating electricity. To be compensated under Tier 4, the resource must either be located in Zone J or delivered to Zone J over a new transmission interconnection (that electrically connects after October 15, 2020). Non-hydropower renewables must achieve commercial operation after October 15, 2020 to be eligible for Tier 4. Hydropower resources must be existing or already under construction as of June 18, 2020.

Offshore wind RECs will be procured separately from Tier 4 resources. Behind-the-meter resources are not eligible under Tier 4.

Tier 4 – Step One Eligibility Response

NYSERDA’s Tier 4 RFP solicitation has garnered a significant level of competitive interest from the private market. NYSERDA received 18 Tier 4 Step One Eligibility Applications, from 14 proposers representing:

  • A total of nearly 57 million annual megawatt hours of renewable energy – the equivalent of powering 8 million New York homes; and
  • Nearly 14,000 megawatts of new transmission capacity, more than four times the maximum quantity sought through the solicitation.


NYSERDA seeks to negotiate contracts for up to an aggregate 1,500 MW but may exceed this quantity if it receives proposals that are sufficiently compelling. Resulting agreements for the procurement of Tier 4 RECs will be filed with the Department of Public Service Secretary for public comment and Commission approval.

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The schedule for T4RFP21-1 is as follows (all times ET):

T4RFP21-1 Release Date January 13, 2021
Deadline for Notice of Intent to Propose January 21, 2021
Proposers’ Webinar [PDF] January 28, 2021
Deadline for submitting written questions on Step One February 4, 2021
NYSERDA posts responses to Step One questions [PDF] February 11, 2021
Deadline for Step One Eligibility Application and Hydropower Baseline Data February 16, 2021, 3:00 pm
NYSERDA posts responses to Step Two questions [PDF] April 5, 2021
NYSERDA provides Final Baseline Determination No later than April 12, 2021
NYSERDA Portal Opens to register for accountLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. April 14, 2021
Deadline to Register for NYSERDA Portal and Portal opens for Step Two Proposal submission April 30, 2021
Deadline for submitting written questions on Step Two May 3, 2021
NYSERDA posts responses to Step Two questions May 7, 2021
Deadline for Step Two Proposal Submission May 12, 2021, 3:00 pm
NYSERDA Award Notification Date 3rd Quarter 2021

T4RFP21-1 and Appendices

Communications and Updates regarding the RFP

All relevant documents pertaining to this RFP will be available on this site. Proposers are advised to check this website regularly for updates.

An update to the Tier 4 RFP was posted on March 29, 2021. A summary of updates can be found here.

The first set of responses to submitted questions under Step 2 was posted on April 5, 2021. The responses can be found here and will be updated on a rolling basis until May 7, 2021. All questions must be submitted to res@nyserda.ny.gov by May 3, 2021.

NYSERDA has posted a Request for Comment [PDF] on whether the Tier 4 Agreement should be amended to allow proposers to benefit from any new investment tax credit recently enacted by the Federal government that could be applied to a Tier 4 transmission facility. Comments may be submitted to res@nyserda.ny.gov by 5:00pm ET April 9, 2021.

Implementation Plan

NYSERDA will file a Tier 4 implementation plan for stakeholder comment and Commission approval by December 15, 2021.  The plan will include a description of the Tier 4 compliance obligation calculations, process and structure, as well as a Tier 4 standard purchase agreement.