'Historic moment' for Connecticut: State renewables procurement includes 250-MW EDP project
September 20, 2013
Calling the action “the most significant step Connecticut has ever taken” in clean energy, Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced the selection of two renewable energy projects that will supply state electricity consumers via power contracts that include one from a 250-MW wind project in Maine.
The two projects have signed long-term contracts with the state’s two major electric distribution companies – Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating – for the purchase of a combined 270 MW of electricity and the related renewable energy credits. The wind power contract is for the off-take of the Number Nine Wind Farm, a 250-MW facility to be located in Aroostook County, Maine that’s being developed by EDP Renewables North America.
The other contract is for the energy coming from Fusion Solar Center, a 20-MW AC solar photovoltaic system that will be located in Sprague and Lisbon, Conn. The project developer is HelioSage Energy.
Notably, the governor said the cost of energy from the two projects will average under eight cents per kilowatt hour—a price that’s comparable to the cost of energy generated from conventional fossil fuel plants. It also is among the lowest costs ever obtained for solar and wind power in the region. The cost of wind energy has fallen dramatically in recent years, and so New England, too, is reaping the benefits.
“The selection of these two projects is a major milestone in implementing our Comprehensive Energy Strategy,” said Malloy. “These projects bring real benefits – cleaner power with no air emissions and improved reliability by diversifying our energy portfolio – all at a cost comparable to electricity generated from conventional power plants. This is the most significant step Connecticut has ever taken to harness the power of clean energy and this announcement is truly a historic moment in Connecticut’s energy history.”
Responding to the news, AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan noted, “Contracts for wind power are an important part of a diverse energy portfolio for the Northeast. They keep costs down and help avoid pollution and future rate increases because wind turbines need no fuel. We’re doing our part to keep the national commitment to reduce carbon emissions and slow climate change that threatens us all.”
The two projects were selected following the submission of 47 proposals submitted in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP) issued July 8 by Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). The RFP was released just weeks after the state General Assembly approved and Governor Malloy signed into law Public Act 13-303, which restructured Connecticut’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The legislation authorized the state to go forward with the clean energy procurement process for up to 4 percent of Connecticut’s total electricity load and recommitted the state to obtaining 20 percent of its electric power from clean energy sources by 2020.
The two projects selected will provide 3.5 percent of Connecticut’s total energy load. The governor’s office noted that the quick timeframe for the procurement process allows the projects to take advantage of federal tax credits—i.e., the Product Tax Credit—that require construction to start on projects by the end of the year. Qualifying for the PTC further reduces the cost of energy the projects will provide—savings that can be passed along to the consumer.