Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, D-Conn., has announced that two renewable energy projects – a 250 MW wind farm in Maine and a 20 MW solar installation in Connecticut – have been selected to help power the state's electricity grid.
The projects have signed long-term contracts with Connecticut's two major electric distribution companies – Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) and United Illuminating – for the purchase of the combined 270 MW of electricity and related renewable energy credits they will produce.
According to Malloy, the cost of power from the two projects will average under $0.08/kWh, representing a price close to matching that of power generated from conventional fossil fuel plants and some of the lowest costs ever obtained for solar and wind power in the region.
EDP Renewables North America LLC will build the Number Nine Wind Farm in Aroostook County, Maine. HelioSage Energy will construct the Fusion Solar Center in Sprague and Lisbon, Conn., on land primarily owned by Connecticut-based Fusion Paperboard Co. Both projects are expected to be operational by the end of 2016.
The two projects were selected after analysis and ranking of 47 proposals submitted in response to a request for proposals (RFP) issued by Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) on July 8.
The RFP was released just weeks after the general assembly approved and Malloy signed into law Public Act 13-303, An Act Concerning Connecticut's Clean Energy Goals. The act restructured Connecticut's renewable portfolio standard, authorizing the state to go forward with an alternative energy procurement process for up to 4% of the state's total electricity load and recommit Connecticut to obtaining 20% of its electric power from alternative energy sources by 2020.
According to Malloy, the two projects selected will provide 3.5% of Connecticut's total energy load. The quick time frame for the procurement process allows the projects to take advantage of federal tax credits for renewable energy projects that expire at the end of 2013, the governor adds.
"The pricing offered by these projects demonstrates that Connecticut's new approach to clean energy can spark innovation and competition among various technologies and drive down costs," adds DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty. "We had wind, solar, fuel cells, tidal and biomass all competing for the same long-term power contracts with the electric distribution companies – and the clear winners were Connecticut's ratepayers."
The power purchase agreements will be submitted to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority for review and approval.