April 4, 2012
PURA Approves Renewable Energy Program That Will Drive Economic Activity in the State
ZREC/LREC Program will Generate Renewable Energy at Lowest Possible Cost to Ratepayers
The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) today issued final approval for the state’s ZREC (zero- emissions) and LREC (low-emissions) renewable energy program, which will be administered by the state’s two largest electric utilities – Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) and United Illuminating (UI).
“The ZREC/LREC program will help jumpstart Connecticut’s clean energy industry,” said Daniel C. Esty, Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
“The program will deploy hundreds of projects across the state at the lowest possible cost to ratepayers,” Esty said. “This will support efforts to move us in the direction of the Governor’s vision of cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy in Connecticut. We look forward to the results of the bidding process – that will show which competitors are able to produce zero and low emissions renewable power the most economically.”
Under the ZREC/LREC program, CL&P and UI will accept bids from renewable energy project developers. The projects that require the least amount of subsidy from the program will be selected for funding. The criteria for selection of projects will also ensure the quality of the projects submitted to the program. Winning bidders will receive 15-year contracts for the payment of a set price per megawatt hour (MWh) of output in the form of renewable energy credits (RECs). By selecting quality projects that have lower costs, the ZREC/LREC program will maximize the amount of in-state economic activity generated by the program and procure the lowest priced renewable electricity possible.
The ZREC/LREC program is the result of last year’s landmark energy reform legislation (Public Act 11-80). The program design is the result of the vision provided by Governor Malloy, the General Assembly and a collaborative process between the state, Connecticut Light & Power, and United Illuminating. Bids will be accepted into the program soon, and the results of the first year of the process will be made public this summer.
The PURA decision is attached and will also be posted at ct.gov/pura under Docket Number 11-12-06.