The Connecticut House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday that would allow large-scale hydropower to qualify as a Class I resource under the state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS).
According to a Hartford Business report, a companion bill passed the state Senate on May 6, but due to some differences, the legislation returns to the Senate for final approval.
Connecticut's RPS requires 27% of utilities' electricity to come from renewable energy resources by 2020, with a Class I requirement of 20% by 2020. Under the state's current mandate, Class I resources include solar, wind, fuel cells and biomass.
Hydropower facilities up to 5 MW also qualify, but the new provision, which the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection recommended in March, aims to increase the limit to 30 MW.
Following the House vote, Hartford Business says some groups have protested, claiming the hydropower measure harms the state's RPS and provides an advantage to companies such as Canada's Hydro-Quebec.
‘This legislation is based on the faulty premise that provincially owned, Canadian large-scale hydro is cheaper, cleaner and more reliable than generators based in Connecticut and throughout New England,’ Dan Dolan, president of the New England Power Generators Association, told the news agency.