Utilities select 145 projects in $1B program's second year

Published July 22, 2013
By Brad Kane 

Electric utilities Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating selected 145 clean projects in the second round of the state's $1 billion renewable energy credit program.

The Zero-emissions and Low-emissions Renewable Energy Credit, or ZREC/LREC, program will have six annual rounds and award 15-year contracts to the solar and fuel cell projects that bid the lowest for the amount in credits they receive for producing clean energy. The first round in 2012 awarded ZRECs and LRECs to 97 projects.

In the second round, CL&P picked 90 projects for ZRECs and 16 projects for LRECs. United Illuminating picked 26 projects for ZRECs and 13 projects for LRECs.

CL&P received 231 bids, and UI had 69.

The second round awards are preliminary, and the utilities still have to file them with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. That filing will include other information about the projects. Neither utility has a definitive filing date.

Because the utilities awarded significantly more projects in the second round with roughly the same amount of money, it appears the ZREC/LREC program was successful in its goal of driving down the cost of the subsidy for each project, thus enabling more installations in the state with the same amount of money. The actual cost per credit will be disclosed in the PURA filing.