The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has 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).
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, and 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 of output in the form of renewable energy credits. 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, according to the state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).
"The ZREC/LREC program will help jump-start Connecticut's clean energy industry," says Daniel C. Esty, commissioner of the DEEP. "The program will deploy hundreds of projects across the state at the lowest possible cost to ratepayers."
The ZREC/LREC program is the result of last year's energy reform legislation. Bids will be accepted into the program soon, and the results of the first year of the process will be made public this summer.