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.


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.

Sign up to receive updates and announcements.


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 January 28, 2021
Deadline for submitting written questions on Step One February 4, 2021
NYSERDA posts responses to Step One questions February 11, 2021
Deadline for Step One Eligibility Application and Hydropower Baseline Data February 16, 2021, 3:00 pm
NYSERDA provides Final Baseline Determination No later than April 12, 2021
NYSERDA Portal Opens to register for account 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

Proposer’s Conference

A webinarLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. for interested persons will be held on January 28, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. ET. During this webinar, NYSERDA will review the Step One Eligibility Application, Step Two Proposal submission requirements, and the Agreement.

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.

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.