By William Opalka
Connecticut has selected 25 small clean energy and energy efficiency projects totaling 402 MW to negotiate power purchase agreements with the state’s two electric distribution companies.
The Class I projects, all less than 20 MW each, responded to a request for proposals earlier this year. They will negotiate PPAs with Eversource Energy and United Illuminating as part of Connecticut’s legislative mandate to decarbonize its electric generation resources.
“The response to the RFP for small-scale clean energy projects was robust and competitive — giving us the welcome challenge of carefully considering more than 100 projects and evaluating them against our established criteria,” Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Klee said in a statement Nov. 28.
Included among the 25 projects are 11 totaling 170 MW within the state: nine solar, one wind and 34 MW of energy efficiency offered by Eversource, making it both a resource supplier and the EDC negotiating procurement.
“DEEP and the state Attorney General’s office will play a role in development of the efficiency contract,” DEEP spokesman Dennis Schain told RTO Insider. “Also, all contracts have to be reviewed and approved by our utility regulatory body, so there are protections for ratepayers in this project from Eversource having been selected.”
Besides the 11 Connecticut projects, seven have been selected in Vermont, two each in Maine, Massachusetts and New York, and one in New Hampshire. The projects range in size from 3.5 MW of wind in Connecticut to two solar projects of 19.99 MW in New York.
Final contracts will be submitted to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority for approval, which is expected in early 2017.
Connecticut also is part of a separate procurement with Massachusetts and Rhode Island for large-scale projects of 20 MW or greater. The states selected seven projects totaling 460 MW for contract negotiations. However, those negotiations have been stayed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals following a challenge by Allco Renewable Finance, a developer of small-scale renewable projects. Oral arguments in that case are scheduled for Dec. 9 (Allco Finance Limited v. Klee, 16-2946). (See Court Halts New England Clean Energy Contracts.)
FERC Declines PURPA Case
In a related matter, FERC ruled Nov. 22 against initiating an enforcement action against Connecticut regulators over Allco Finance’s claims that the state was not abiding by the mandatory purchase requirements of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (EL16-115, QF16-362, et al.).
The commission’s action means Allco and its unit Windham Solar may file their own enforcement action against the PURA “in the appropriate court,” FERC said.
Allco contends the state regulators improperly concluded that Windham is not entitled to a legally enforceable obligation at a forecasted avoided cost rate and that Eversource has no need for capacity.
It is at least the third time this year that declined to act on Allco’s PURPA claims. (See FERC Rejects Enforcement Action in Connecticut PURPA Dispute.)