The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is proposing broad changes for the Connecticut’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. DEEP Commissioner Dan Esty said that restructuring the portfolio will give the state more flexibility to make renewable power a larger share of the energy mix and also ensure that the state’s energy policy is focused “on new and innovative renewable technology, not legacy projects that no longer make sense.” The current renewable energy portfolio in place is 15 years old and focuses on many “outdated” technologies. “Our new RPS strategy focuses on innovative approaches that minimize costs for electric ratepayers, while bringing us the benefits of cleaner air, a more diverse and reliable power supply and support for in-state projects that grow our economy and create jobs right here in our state,” Esty said. They also plan to spend money wisely in order create new jobs in Connecticut while also lowering the cost of electricity.
On the other hand, the president of Environment Northeast, a Maine-based regional organization with offices in Connecticut, Daniel Sosland, said the restructuring is a bad idea. Sosland said the legislation in which the restructuring is included — Proposed Substitute Bill 1138 — would eliminate support for existing energy efficiency programs. Although there may be some disagreement and misunderstanding concerning this proposal, DEEP officials say a key change being proposed is to increase targets for state use of solar, wind and other types of renewable energy, including some kinds of hydropower. These changes also would allow the state to run a competitive bid process to buy a portion of the renewable portfolio, 7.5 percent by 2025, to meet the target that the portfolio’s share of Class I renewable energy types will become 25 percent required by 2025. The aim is to bring down the overall ratepayer cost of meeting the portfolio’s goals while preserving support for renewable development in Connecticut and across the region, Esty said.
Source: Connecticut revamping renewable energy strategy, Luther Turmelle, March 18 2013