Energy and Technology Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-1103

Title:

AN ACT REDEFINING CLASS I RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES.

Vote Date:

3/19/2009

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/12/2009

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Energy and Technology Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

To include energy produced from upgrades at existing hydropower plants in the definition of Class I renewable energy sources.

SUBSTITUTE LANGUAGE:

In lines 6-8, adds “clean Class A or Class B biosolids, as defined in 40 CFR 503, through gasification at a Connecticut facility” to the definition of Class I Renewable energy source.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Donald Downes, Chair, Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) – Supports the bill. While the Department generally supports the inclusion of resources that have potential in Connecticut to help attain the State's RPS goals, the Committee should not lose sight of the importance of maintaining stability in the statutory language regarding the definitions of renewable energy sources. The definitional language was initially passed in 1998 as part of the State's Electric Restructuring Act. The Department has already brought to this Committee's attention how often the legislature has amended these rules and now we are again faced with another bill which would further alter the REC market in Connecticut. The Department cannot underscore enough that this constant change in language has the potential to limit investment in and development of new renewable generation.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Kevin Hennessy, Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) – The impact of this bill is twofold: 1) It incentivizes existing Connecticut entities to invest in upgrading their current facilities and make them more efficient and 2) help Connecticut achieve its commendable goal of having 20% of its energy source be Class I renewable sources by 2020.

Charles Burnham, External Affairs Administrator, GDF SUEZ Energy North America – We would urge the members to support this bill as it would not only provide an incentive for Connecticut hydro-electric companies to improve their facilities but would expand in-state supply of these environmentally friendly energy resources, while helping to keep prices of these resources down.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Rivers Alliance of Connecticut – We must oppose this bill as currently written. This is the right time to insist on a more rational, effective means to promote high-quality, low-impact hydropower. There are numerous other statutory and regulatory problems related to hydropower. The road to reform has been effectively closed due to Public Act 03-135, which limited Class I hydropower to small (less than 5 megawatts), new facilities.

Reported by: Stephen A. Palmer

Date: 03/23/09