Connecticut governor calls for passage of two energy bills

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee on March 19 advocated for the passage of two energy bills, which have received public hearings in recent weeks, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

As noted in the statement, one of the governor’s bills, Senate Bill 7, An Act Concerning Climate Change and Resiliency – which was introduced by state Sens. Martin Looney and Bob Duff, as well as state Reps. Joe Aresimowicz and Matthew Ritter:

  • Implements an interim target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 45% from a 2001 baseline by 2030, as recommended by the Governor’s Council on Climate Change
  • Updates current statutory references to sea level rise to reflect the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation’s (CIRCA) recommendation that the state plan for the upper range of sea level rise projections of nearly two feet by 2050
  • Requires all future state projects located in the Coastal Boundary that are either undertaken by a state agency or funded by a state/federal grant or loan to meet CIRCA’s projections
  • Updates Connecticut coastal boundary maps to move the boundary landward distance represented by the approximate two feet in sea level rise

Among other things, the bill, as posted on the Connecticut General Assembly’s website, noted that by Oct. 1, 2020, and every four years thereafter, the commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection is to prepare a Comprehensive Climate and Energy Strategy, which is to provide any analysis and recommendations necessary to guide the state’s energy policy to meet greenhouse gas emission reduction requirements in the most cost-effective manner, as well as incorporate, for instance, an assessment and plan for all energy needs in the state, including electricity, heating, cooling, and transportation.

The statement noted that Malloy’s other bill, Senate Bill 9, An Act Concerning Connecticut’s Energy Future – which was introduced by the same legislators who introduced Senate Bill 7:

  • Increases the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 40% by 2030
  • Makes the compensation for clean distributed generation simpler, fairer, and more sustainable by, for instance, establishing a fixed rate for residential programs – i.e., rooftop solar – through a PURA rate setting process that ensures that developers cover their costs and earn a fair rate of return
  • Establishes a procurement process for energy efficiency as a resource and sets a minimum efficiency target based on current investment levels in order to mitigate the impact of the 2017 energy efficiency fund sweeps
  • Fortifies the CT Green Bank in the marketplace; with a leverage rate of 8:1 the legislation would allow the CT Green Bank to establish a sufficient portfolio to become a self-sustaining enterprise by 2025, reducing the need for future ratepayer support while continuing to be an economic engine for Connecticut  

The bill, as posted on the General Assembly’s website, noted, for instance, that not later than 180 days after Jan. 1, 2019, and annually thereafter, each electric distribution company is to solicit and file with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority for its approval one or more 20-year tariffs with:

  • Customers that own or develop new generation projects that are less than 2 MW in size, serve the distribution system of the electric distribution company and use a Class I renewable energy source that either uses anaerobic digestion or has emissions of no more than 0.07 pounds per megawatt-hour of nitrogen oxides, 0.10 pounds per megawatt-hour of carbon monoxide, 0.02 pounds per megawatt-hour of volatile organic compounds and one grain per 100 standard cubic feet
  • Customers that own or develop new generation projects that are less than 2 MW in size, serve the distribution system of the electric distribution company and use a Class I renewable energy source that emits no pollutants

“Climate change is real, it’s man-made, and it’s here,” Malloy said in the statement. “We see the effects everywhere: unprecedented drought and wildfires in Western states, global temperatures increasing every year, and more powerful and unpredictable storms than we have ever encountered. And sea levels are expected to rise by nearly two feet over the next 30 years, causing great harm to our coastal communities. Fairness to future generations of Connecticut residents demands that we adjust our current practices to prevent climate disaster. My administration’s two proposals do just that.”

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3233 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.