PURA: Renewable Portfolio Standards Overview

Connecticut Renewable Portfolio Standards Overview
 
What is the Connecticut Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS)?
The Connecticut RPS requires that electricity providers (Connecticut Electric Suppliers and Electric Distribution Company Wholesale Suppliers) obtain a minimum percentage of their retail load by using renewable energy.
 
What is considered renewable energy?
Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 16-1(a)(26) defines “Class I renewable energy source” as (A) electricity derived from (i) solar power, (ii) wind power, (iii) a fuel cell, (iv) geothermal, (v) landfill methane gas, anaerobic digestion or other biogas derived from biological sources, (vi) thermal electric direct energy conversion from a certified Class I renewable energy source, (vii) ocean thermal power, (viii) wave or tidal power, (ix) low emission advanced renewable energy conversion technologies, (x) a run-of-the-river hydropower facility that began operation after July 1, 2003, and has a generating capacity of not more than thirty megawatts, provided a facility that applies for certification under this clause after January 1, 2013, shall not be based on a new dam or a dam identified by the commissioner as a candidate for removal, and shall meet applicable state and federal requirements, including applicable site-specific standards for water quality and fish passage, or (xi) a biomass facility that uses sustainable biomass fuel and has an average emission rate of equal to or less than .075 pounds of nitrogen oxides per million BTU of heat input for the previous calendar quarter, except that energy derived from a biomass facility with a capacity of less than five hundred kilowatts that began construction before July 1, 2003, may be considered a Class I renewable energy source, or (B) any electrical generation, including distributed generation, generated from a Class I renewable energy source, provided, on and after January 1, 2014, any megawatt hours of electricity from a renewable energy source described under this subparagraph that are claimed or counted by a load-serving entity, province or state toward compliance with renewable portfolio standards or renewable energy policy goals in another province or state, other than the state of Connecticut, shall not be eligible for compliance with the renewable portfolio standards established pursuant to section 16-245a.
 
Sustainable biomass
 
Conn. Gen. Stat. §16-1(a)(45) provides:
“Sustainable biomass fuel” means biomass that is cultivated and harvested in a sustainable manner. “Sustainable biomass fuel” does not mean construction and demolition waste, as defined in section 22a-208x, finished biomass products from sawmills, paper mills or stud mills, organic refuse fuel derived separately from municipal solid waste, or biomass from old growth timber stands, except where (A) such biomass is used in a biomass gasification plant that received funding prior to May 1, 2006, from the Clean Energy Fund established pursuant to section 16-245n, or (B) the energy derived from such biomass is subject to a long-term power purchase contract pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection (j) of section 16-244c entered into prior to May 1, 2006.
 
Class II

Conn. Gen. Stat. §16-1(a)(27) defines “Class II renewable energy source” as: “energy derived from a trash-to-energy facility, a biomass facility that began operation before July 1, 1998, provided the average emission rate for such facility is equal to or less than .2 pounds of nitrogen oxides per million BTU of heat input for the previous calendar quarter, or a run-of-the-river hydropower facility provided such facility has a generating capacity of not more than five megawatts, does not cause an appreciable change in the riverflow, and began operation prior to July 1, 2003.”
 
Class III

Conn. Gen. Stat. §16-1(a)(44) defines “Class III source” as the electricity output from combined heat and power systems with an operating efficiency level of no less than fifty per cent that are part of customer-side distributed resources developed at commercial and industrial facilities in this state on or after January 1, 2006, a waste heat recovery system installed on or after April 1, 2007, that produces electrical or thermal energy by capturing preexisting waste heat or pressure from industrial or commercial processes, or the electricity savings created in this state from conservation and load management programs begun on or after January 1, 2006, provided on and after January 1, 2014, no such programs supported by ratepayers, including programs overseen by the Energy Conservation Management Board or third-party programs pursuant to section 16-245m, shall be considered a Class III source, except that any demand-side management project awarded a contract pursuant to section 16-243m shall remain eligible as a Class III source for the term of such contract.
 
What Percentages of Renewable Energy are Required?
 
 
Year Class I
Class II or
Class I (add'l)
Class III Total
 2005
 1.5%
 3.0%
 
 4.5%
 2006
 2.0%
 3.0%
 
 5.0%
 2007
 3.5%
  3.0%
 1.0%
 7.5%
 2008
 5.0%
  3.0%
 2.0%
 10.0%
 2009
 6.0%
 3.0%
 3.0%
 12.0%
 2010
 7.0%
 3.0%
 4.0%
 14.0%
 2011
 8.0%
 3.0%
 4.0%
 15.0%
 2012
 9.0%
 3.0%
 4.0%
 16.0%
 2013
 10.0%
 3.0%
 4.0%
 17.0%
 2014
 11.0%
 3.0%
 4.0%
 18.0%
 2015
 12.5%
 3.0%
 4.0%
 19.5%
 2016
 14.0%
 3.0%
 4.0%
 21.0%
 2017
 15.5%
 3.0%
 4.0%
 22.5%
 2018
 17.0%
 3.0%
 4.0%
 24.0%
 2019
 19.5%
 3.0%
 4.0%
 26.5%
 2020
 20.0%
 3.0%
 4.0%
 27.0%
 
 
What has the Authority Certified as Renewable?
See the Listing of Approved and Pending Declaratory Rulings and Applications (Excel Spreadsheet).  An application is used for a facility that is operational whereas a declaratory ruling is used for a facility that is not operational. 
  
How do I get Certified as a Renewable Energy Source?
The Authority receives numerous inquiries regarding whether a specific facility or project will qualify as renewable.  The Authority handles these inquiries by directing the applicant to review C.G.S. § 16-1(a)(26) and § 16-1(a)(27) and file either a request for declaratory ruling or an application. 
 
What is the Difference between a Declaratory Ruling and an Application?
Declaratory Ruling
A Declaratory Ruling is a request to seek a ruling as to whether a particular proposed facility would qualify once constructed.  A declaratory ruling is for the benefit of the applicant.  An applicant can file a request for a declaratory ruling by providing the Authority with a letter that details the proposed project and indicates for what Class type (I,II,III) the applicant is seeking the declaratory ruling with reasons why the project should qualify under current laws.  Applicants are not required to file for a declaratory ruling unless requested by the Authority (i.e.  Project 100).  If a specific technology has already been approved (.i.e. fuel cell, solar, wind) a declaratory ruling is not necessary.  If a declaratory ruling is favorable and construction is complete, the applicant would then have to go through the application process below.
 
Application Process
 
 
 
 
Declaratory Ruling Filing Instructions
I. WHERE TO FILE: 
Send the hard copy to Executive Secretary, Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, Ten Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051.
II. WHAT TO FILE:  Submit one hard copy as well as one electronic copy of the Application, Exhibits, Affidavits and any other attachments.  The Authority will accept electronic filings that are not complete (i.e., not all documents available electronically.)  All attachments, should be clearly identified and all pages should be numbered and attached in sequential order.
 
III. ELECTRONIC FILING.  Submit your Request electronically via the Authority’s Web Filing System.  Visit the Authority’s website at www.ct.gov/pura.  Under the Docket Services Section, select ‘Make a Web Filing’ and then select ‘Docket Database Web Filing System’.  Follow steps 1 through 3 on this page to complete the filing process.  If you already have obtained a Web Filing Account, proceed directly to the link ‘File a New Docket Application’ under Step 3.  (All attachments should be clearly identified). 
 
One original hard copy of your Request (including all attachments) must also be sent to:
Executive Secretary
Public Utilities Regulatory Authority
Ten Franklin Square
New Britain, CT 06051
IV. QUESTIONS:  Contact Donna Devino via email at donna.devino@ct.gov or by phone at 860-827-2873.
Important Clarifying RPS Dockets
 
View all Electric Renewable decisions  in our Final Decision Database or use the link to each decision below.
 
Annual RPS Compliance Reports:
Docket No. 05-11-01, DPUC Investigation into Renewable Portfolio Standards Compliance for 2004. May 8, 2006 Decision  August 21, 2006 Decision
 
 
 
 
 
Class III:
Docket No. 05-07-19, DPUC Proceeding to Develop a New Distributed Resources Portfolio Standard (Class III).  Interim Decision
 
Connecticut Clean Energy Options/Voluntary Renewable Energy Program:
Docket No. 03-07-16, Investigation of Alternative Transitional Standard Offer Services for United Illuminating and CL&P Customers.  April 21, 2004 Decision  October 20, 2004 Decision
 
 
 
 
 
 
Monetary Grant Program for Customer-Side Distributed Generation:
Docket No. 05-07-17, DPUC Review of the Development of a Program to Provide Monetary Grants for Capital Costs Customer-Side Distributed Generation.
 
Eligible Biomass Fuels – Whole tree chips & bark, sawdust, stump grindings, coffee grounds, chicken manure and any clean wood as defined in C.G.S. §22a-209a:
Docket No. 04-08-30, Application of Conduit NH Energy, LLC for Qualification of Whitefield Power & Light Company as a Class I Renewable Energy Source
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Low Emission Advanced Renewable Energy Conversion Technology:
Docket No. 03-10-07, Request of Rentricity, Inc. for a Declaratory Ruling for Renewable Portfolio Standard Class I Certification.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pro-rating of Biomass – Allowed only during start up and emergencies:
Docket No. 06-07-07, Application of Greenville Steam Company for Qualification as a Class I Renewable Energy Source.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Content last updated May 2014