Energy and Technology Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-1138

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING CONNECTICUT'S CLEAN ENERGY GOALS.

Vote Date:

3/21/2013

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/19/2013

File No.:

120

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Energy and Technology Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

The current Renewable Portfolio Standard could potentially cost ratepayers more money in a few years. This bill would authorize the DEEP commissioner to solicit energy proposals for renewables to save ratepayers moneys. The bill also imposes stricter environmental standards to mitigate potential environmental consequences.

SUBSTITUTE LANGUAGE:

The substitute language changes what counts as renewable energy to address concerns and for clarification.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Department of Energy & Environmental Protection

The current Renewable Portfolio Standard isn't supporting the cleanest possible renewable power. It also provides ongoing financial support for facilities that have long since been paid for instead of investing in development of new resources. There will be improved conformity with Class I qualifications in other states in the region. The Class I sub-tier is to further reduce costs associated with clean energy generation. Contracting for some large amount of hydropower would help the state with its energy goals and lower overall costs.

Changes Recommended:

[The following 6 lines are direct quotes.]

On line 6, insert biologically derived before “methane” and replace ”gas” with or biogas;

On line 24, insert Megawatt hours of electricity from a before “renewable” and replace “used for “ with counted toward;

On line 37, after “area,” insert and delivers such power into the NEPOOL GIS eligibility area;

At the end of line 39, after “act” insert or to trade in the NEPOOL GIS REC market;

On line 52, after “programs” insert or measures undertaken by third parties for clarification purposes; and

On line 98, after “Initiative” insert or other mechanism as proscribed by the commissioner and implemented by PURA.

Elin S. Katz, Office of Consumer Council

The Proposed Substitute Bill is being considered before the release of the Renewable Portfolio Standard study, which is less than ideal.

Section 2: This would shrink the supply of Class III credits and raise their price.

Section 3: This appears to impose a sudden cost on biomass facilities, and should be applied to future facilities rather than current ones.

Section 4: Connecticut should consider what premium it pays for renewable power and developing all the renewable power that is reasonable projected to be less expensive than said premium.

Changes recommended:

The Class III RPS should be expanded to deal with the over-supply.

The Floor price should be eliminated because of the oddities in the market it creates.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Eric Brown, Connecticut Business & Industry Association

It is difficult to argue the Renewable Portfolio Standards have been successful. Only 4% of the state's Class I RPS comes from instate and the majority of ratepayer investments go out of state. Connecticut is already paying a fee for not meeting the standard and that fee will continue to rise. Connecticut already has the highest electric rates in the country, and for that among other reasons Connecticut is not a competitive place to do business with respect to energy costs. The state must take advantage of the opportunity to use large-scale hydropower not only to diversify our clean power portfolio, but also to meet the RPS requirements.

Evan Dube, Sunrun

If the state were to move forward with this legislation, it should also look at investing in existing clean energy programs.

First Wind

They believe that long-term procurement moves toward a cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy future, as supported by evidence elsewhere. It would also improve system diversity and integration.

Concerns:

It is hard to determine what effect the RPS changes this bill proposes will have, and therefore should be studied more.

Stephen Molodetz, HQUS

HQUS is the U.S. subsidiary of Hydro-Quebec. Creating a Class I sub-tier establishes a more balanced RPS program and improves the ability for Connecticut to remain committed to renewables at lower cost to ratepayers. Hydro-Quebec's hydropower is cost competitive because of abundance and is flexible enough to respond to peak needs instantaneously.

James Schneider, Kimberly-Clark Corporation

This bill is necessary to gradually remove Class III credits that have flooded the market and jeopardize its viability. The supply-demand imbalance must be corrected.

Jay Fletcher, Connecticut Light and Power

This bill is a good step forward to ensure that Connecticut's clean energy goals are met.

Section 1: Hydropower being in a Class I sub-tier would help Connecticut fulfill a portion of its RPS standards. Hydro will also clean the air and the cost is anticipated to be lower than existing Class I renewables. It is important to maintain the perspective that hydropower is a supplement to conventional Class I sources and not a replacement.

Section 2: “We would like to remind the committee that certain combined heat and power facilities that qualify for Class III credits receive ratepayer funding…”

Section 4: The sub-tier will significantly lesson the supply-demand imbalance.

Section 5: A regional approach is beneficial to purchase resources at the most reasonable cost possible.

Changes Recommended:

Explore the possibility of providing a remuneration to electric distribution companies, such as used in Massachusetts.

Jeff Bishop, EDP Renewables

Long-term contracts are necessary for developers to attain low-cost financing. Large-scale projects have high capital costs, no fuel costs, and relatively low maintenance costs. Allowing non-bypassable charges removes regulatory risk of recovery for the EDCs. This bill provides visibility for hydropower. The markets for renewables are extremely tight and we have seen states where new technologies lower the price of renewable energy to the extent that it no longer makes economic sense to build renewable energy projects.

Changes Recommended:

Align a step-up function with the RPS demand to ensure that there is a clear market.

Change the vintage date from 2003 to 2013.

Make sure there is at least 1% annual growth for renewable energy: large-scale hydro has the potential to negatively affect the market.

Mark LeBel, Connecticut Fund for the Environment

There are many portions of this bill that are environmentally friendly. If Subsection (h) of Section 5 includes the procurement of wind as well, it could generate around 1% of Connecticut's annual generation. Increasing the overall Class I requirements will decrease reliance on fossil fuels. It is important to recognize that the exclusion of certain biomass facilities and prohibition on double counting can have a negative impact on the market tier.

Changes Recommended:

Strengthen the optional procurement of current Class I resources.

Structure ongoing procurement

Establish interim targets for 2030 and 2040 to allow more effective energy planning and assure a backstop for the remaining risk of dilution of incentives for wind and solar.

Seth Kaplan, Conservation Law Foundation

CLF is deeply opposed to the revision of Tier I, seeing it as “an unprecedented and shocking retreat from a clean energy goal.” CLF supports mechanisms to bring in clean “firming power” like hydroelectric that can displace coal generation and balance wind and solar in a complementary manner. CLF also supports regional procurement as it allows states to buy in bulk, reducing costs and maximizing collective efforts to foster clean energy generation.

Alan Trotta, United Illuminating

UI generally supports the bill, but is seeking two minor clarifications: cost recovery language for long-term contracts, and Class I resource qualification.

Changes Recommended:

“The All direct and indirect costs associated with such agreements shall be recovered through a fully reconciling component of electric rates to all customers of the electric distribution companies.” – Lines 256-258, 276-278

“…, provided on and after January 1, 2014, any renewable energy produced by sources described under this subparagraph used for compliance with renewable portfolio standards or renewable energy goals in another state shall may not be considered a used to meet Connecticut's Class I renewable energy source requirements.” – Lines 23-27

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Barbara S. Backman, Canton

This bill removes the choice people have to pick local energy resources.

Ben Martin, 350CT.org

This bill allows dirty and ecologically damaging technologies to be considered as renewables.

Jerry Bellikka, Capital Power Corporation

Stakeholders never had their say in the matter. DEEP promised stakeholders a chance to review and comment on the RPS. However, the RPS was released less than 24 hours before the hearing, leaving no time for input. The prospect of awarding a long term contract to out-of-state producers undermines investor confidence in the local market. He believes, “A successful RPS needs to provide a degree of regulatory certainty that rules and definitions are not subject to sudden or continual change.” He also doesn't see the need for additional large scale generating capacity, mentioning a discussion with ISO New England to modify the current local market.

Charles Rosenfield, Putnam Hydropower

The state will not see any economic or environmental gains. The beneficiaries appear to be large energy projects in other states or even internationally. The bill proposes to not allow participants in the Connecticut market to sell into other markets.

Chris Schweitzer, New Haven Environmental Justice Network

We need to move away from fossil fuels at the risk of extreme climate change. We also need to support local industry and not those in Texas or Saudi Arabia.

Christopher Messier, Southern Exposure Inc.

“This bill will be detrimental to growing my business. Gov. .Malloy needs a better understanding that solar energy is not just PV.”

Christopher Phelps, Environment Connecticut

Some of the policies in this bill are what Environment Connecticut has pushed for previously, but the next result will be a step backwards from renewable energy. They also push for more time for public input and question the environmental benefit of some of the sections.

Changes Recommended:

Section 1-

Delete “from landfills” after “methane” in line 6.

Explicitly include anaerobic digestion to the list of resources.

Reject the creation of a Class I sub-tier.

Section 5-

Remove the 150 megawatt cap: it is too small.

Cindy Meockel, Ashford

Large scale hydropower from Canada is not what Connecticut intended in its commitment to renewable energy sources. This bill is “another step down the path to climate catastrophe.”

ClearEdge Power

Expanding the hydropower definition could potentially lower the renewable energy price and decrease the siting and usage in the state. This would have a negative effect on the Renewable Energy Credit (REC) program and prevent good projects from moving forward.

Andrew Fisk, Connecticut River Watershed Council

Hydropower provides clean energy, but can have negative impacts by blocking fish passage, dewatering areas, and fluctuating water levels along riverbanks. Receiving a certification from the Low Impact Hydropower Institution is unnecessary as there are already current standards in place by the state.

Changes Recommended:

[The following lines are direct quotes.]

Run-of-river operation needs to be included in any definition of Class I hydro.

There must be ecologically relevant flow releases from facilities.

Upstream and downstream passage for all migrating species must be present and functional.

All facilities must be in compliance with their FERC licenses and state water quality certificates.

The generating capacity of facilities should not be a criteria for eligibility.

Facilities in the New England power pool should not be able to go venue shopping.

Connecticut Small Power Produces Association

Replacing “run-of-the-river” with “received a certification from the Low Impact Hydropower Institution” will pose economic hardships on developers and decrease the efficiency of certain hydro projects. Increasing qualified hydro from 5 megawatts to 30 megawatts will allow many state projects to potentially qualify and flood the market, lowering Renewable Energy Credit prices and reduce development. Line 23 of the bill, “If qualified in another state then you're not qualified for CT I,” is not well defined and would upset the entire New England market.

Elise Willer, Connecticut Working Families

To force the issue in such a short timeframe would be contrary to the democratic process of creating legislation. This bill endangers future Connecticut-based clean energy projects, sending local money not just out of state but out of the country. It is important for stakeholders and the Connecticut public to be given an opportunity to speak.

Corey Krohn, Windham

The addition of foreign, large-scale hydro further centralizes the grid, reducing resilience and endangering public health and safety. Our policy should not be built upon foreign energy sources, or upon environmentally destructive practices such as hydraulic fracturing.

Joe Szymaszek, CS EnergySystems, JDS Electric

A redefined Class I would have a harmful impact on Connecticut's commercial solar thermal industry.

Daniel Allegretti, Exelon Corporation

Allowing the state to enter into 20 year contracts will impose risks on consumers if the generation costs continue to decline during this period. Quantity is decreasing every year and electric companies will be buying power for customers they don't have, forcing them to resell at a loss. This bill doesn't protect consumers because it forces them to lock into long-term contracts, eliminating choice. Retail electric suppliers are uncertain as to how the long term procurement will offset their Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements. Expanding the Class I category would only applies to a very small number of generation owners in eastern Canada, resulting in little increase to competition in Class I renewables and little cost savings to customers. Excluding hydropower resources developed prior to 2003 is unnecessarily discriminatory and limits competition.

Changes Recommended:

Expand eligibility south as well as north.

Farmington River Watershed Association

Class I did not originally include hydropower because of it destroys the functions of free-flowing waterways, leading to a drop in oxygen concentration levels, higher water temperatures, methane emissions, and derange seasonal flow variations.

Changes Recommended:

If hydropower is to be admitted in Class I renewable energy sources, it should have the following limitations:

-Hydropower should be run of the river, rather than allowed to impound water.

-Hydropower should not include energy imported from Hydro-Quebec.

Jim Ginnetti, EquiPower Resources

This bill will do nothing to decrease consumer electric bills, but rather burden consumers with inflated electric rates. Allowing 20 year contracts is dangerous. Large-scale hydropower is one of the oldest forms of electricity generation and does not need state subsidies. There are concerns regarding how “renewable” the energy coming from Hydro-Quebec actually would be. The price per kilowatt hour would increase dramatically when the costs of the transmission line are factored in. “Electric customers in Connecticut have just recently finished paying off more than $3 billion in such stranded costs, which were the product of cost overruns and uneconomic investments by the regulated monopoly EDCs. This Substitute Bill would once again allow those same companies, one of which is an affiliate of the entity that seeks to build the NPTP and significantly benefit from it, to enter into a 20 year contract, the risks of which would be borne by captive ratepayers in Connecticut.” Connecticut consumers would also be paying for the substantial premium. Lastly the bill proposes to renew a tax that increases electricity prices from companies “who invested in power generation, built companies and created jobs here in Connecticut without requesting any assistance from the State.”

Frank DaCato, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 777

[This testimony is about the removal of solar from Class I, which is not in the bill.]

Frieda Denenmark, Southbury

“I urge you to defeat SB1138.”

John Shue, GDF SUEZ Energy North America

This bill not only fails to give proper incentives to existing hydropower units in state, but would also eliminate three of their facilities. Connecticut is considering a policy that would reward out-of-country projects with in-state dollars. The right to determine what hydro facilities count as Class I is given to an organization that is based in New Jersey and not one staff member is from Connecticut. Furthermore, the new Class I sub-tier (which the out-of-state hydro would fall under) doesn't even have to go through aforementioned New Jersey organization for approval, further rewarding out-of-country resources. Given the time frame between legislation and the release of the RPS, there simply will not be the level of input needed to produce thoughtful legislation.

Gene DeJoannis, Citizens for a Greener Manchester

The RPS was created to promote the development of small-scale renewable energy sources, but this bill appears to deny this by adding large scale hydro into Class I. This will undercut wind and solar power and incentivize projects that can do long-term damage to the real RPS generation market.

Geraldine Kuenkler, Waterford

“This bill seems to clear the way for long-term contracting with Hydro Quebec outside of competitive process. Existing and future local development of renewables MUST be protected…”

Guy Wanegar, Connecticut Geothermal Association

The bill restricts the eligibility of Class I resources and stops incentives to create clean energy projects in state. It also restricts REC eligibility to existing facilities. CTGEO does support keeping the current energy terminology in place. The creation of a new Class I sub-tier for hydropower amounts to the state picking winners in the market.

Harsh Luthra, BeFree Solar

“I oppose Bill No. 1138 because of the harmful impact a redefined Class I would have on Connecticut's commercial solar thermal industry”

Jason Harris, SolarUS

“I oppose Bill No. 1138 because of the harmful impact a redefined Class I would have on Connecticut's commercial solar thermal industry.”

Jean Rioux, East Hartford

“Bill 1138 will harm and greatly reduce future development of renewables such as solar, wind and hydro.”

Joel Gordes, Environmental Energy Solutions

This legislation appeared prior to publication of the RPS study. There is a problem with this process. The addition of foreign hydropower further centralizes the grid. The RPS was never intended to subsidize already mature technologies, but rather provide market support for new technologies. There are also human rights allegations as the Innu people have issues with Hydro-Quebec.

John Sima III, Hydro Dynamic Engineering

Restricting Class I to only electricity goes against last year's Comprehensive Energy Strategy that stated we need to broaden the definition of Class I.

[The rest of this testimony further emphasizes why other types of energy should be included in Class I.]

John Humphries, Connecticut Roundtable on Climate & Jobs

Reclassification of large-scale hydro as Class I would reduce incentives to expand solar, wind, and fuel cell. The purpose of the RPS is to support instate development. Canadian hydro does not need special assistance.

He does support the increase in the RPS to 25% by 2025.

John Murphy, Connecticut Citizen Action Group

This bill displays and over-reliance on Hydro-Quebec that will slow down the development of instate renewable resources and the creation of green jobs. There is a clear indication of a sweetheart deal for Northeast Utilities that will undermine the ability of wind and solar power to stabilize energy prices that currently fluctuate because of fossil fuel prices.

Jon Norman, Brookfield Renewable Energy Group

Pre-2003 vintage hydropower cannot continue their operations without the revenue stream that Class I credits provide. Restrictions are being imposed on geographic locations of origin rather than on the energy delivered. Resources outside Connecticut borders will inevitably come at a price premium which will be borne by the consumer.

Changes Recommended:

Remove the pre-2003 component.

Section 10, Subsection (b) of Section 16-245a as proposed in HB6532 be revised to be consistent with NEPOOL Board of Review recommendations, and to ensure energy is deliverable along with qualifying RECs.

The Class I sub-tier should include a requirement that the renewable energy credits and energy associated be tagged of their generating unit origin.

Jonathan Leibovic, Toxins Action Center

The bill has major shortcomings to hydropower, solar, and methane. It is important to take care when considering proposals that will impact air, water, and soil quality. No taxpayer funds should be granted to corporations that frack.

Joseph Panetta, Modern Mechanical Services

They pay a yearly fee to keep their Solar Thermal Contractors license up to date and it would be unfair labor practice to create a bill harming their chances to do business in the state.

Judi Friedman, People's Action for Clean Energy

Giving jobs to renewable companies in state should come before obtaining energy from Hydro-Quebec. All efforts must be put into energy efficiency as found in solar, wind, and small hydro.

Judith Allen, West Hartford

Bill 1138 appears to slow progress towards meeting RPS goals by weakening the standards and opening to door to hydropower from Canada, taking away from solar projects that would improve the economy. Class I projects should safeguard our waterways and aquatic life, but this bill permits larger, more invasive power plants. This bill also rolls back the standards by allowing electricity providers to include a percentage of their Class I renewables to come from Class II sources. Recent weather storms should be an indication the state needs to do more for energy and increase standards.

Justin Haaheim, 350.org

The substitute language proposes sweeping, backward-looking changes to Connecticut's RPS for a sweetheart deal for Hydro-Quebec and Northeast Utilities. It is surprising given the commitment the committee members have shown for supporting clean energy.

He does support section 5 (h) which outlines the foundation for regional procurement.

Karen Burke, Wallingford

“This bill is not for Connecticut.”

Katherine Freygang, Cornwall

Research on natural gas, local hydro and other renewables should be extended before making any commitments. Long-term focus should emphasize on reliability on local production.

Ken Nelson, Element Markets

It appears this bill rejects any consideration of support for clean alternative thermal energy resources. These alternatives have the potential to immediately increase RPS funds used in the state rather than abroad, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide meaningful rate relief. This bill does none of these things in the short term. Regional procurement does nothing beyond what's already in place with the ZREC and LREC programs. Hydropower is widely recognized for destroying vegetation and increasing greenhouse admissions during the development phase. Phasing out existing renewables has the potential to keep the ratepayer burden high during the transition period. Massachusetts and many European countries have reached the conclusion that they need to rely on renewable thermal resources to achieve their reduction goals. The bill purports to not pick winners and losers, and then proceeds to exclude resources.

Lydia Straus-Edward, Woodbury

This bill should be defeated because it creates long-term contracting opportunities with Hydro-Quebec outside of any competitive process and would harm or stop future development of other renewables. The price of Class I RECs is likely to plummet and many projects would no longer qualify.

Marianne Horn, People's Action for Clean Energy

Several aspects of the bill will harm existing and paralyze future development of renewables including solar, wind, and hydro. The REC prices will plummet and many projects will no longer qualify.

Marc Hanks, Direct Energy Services

Changes Recommended:

New RPS compliance obligations shall not be applicable to any preexisting contract.

Martin Mador, Sierra Club

The environmental consequences of large hydro are a loss of land, possible destruction of human habitation, and release of climate-changing gases. “Sustainable fuel” is not sufficiently defined. Connecticut should look to standards established in Massachusetts, New York, and Maryland for a preferred biomass model. The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has not maintained its mission in recent years and should not be given authority to give certification.

The Sierra Club does support the use of long-term contracts, the RPS numerical goals for Class I, omitting programs based on ratepayer finding for eligibility, and the language that prevents double dipping.

Monica Keady, Darien

Several aspects of the bill will harm existing and paralyze future development of renewables including solar, wind, and hydro. The REC prices will plummet and many projects will no longer qualify.

Janet Besser, New England Clean Energy Council

Bill no. 1138 is stepping back from the standards and goals driving private investment. Establishing long-term contracts for Class I resources is very positive, but changing definition of Class I renewables is problematic. Large hydro should not come at the expense of developing renewable, clean energy technologies. Neither should it come at the dollar expense of making it eligible for Renewable Energy Certificates. It has been part of New England electricity for over 20 years and there is no rationale to support providing RECs. New England states have had experiences with contracts for large hydro that haven't been as cost-effective as previously thought. Providing additional REC revenues would simply increase the profit of the owners without providing an additional benefit to Connecticut customers. Conversely, by limiting Class I eligibility and RECs to projects of 5 MW or less, customers can be assured that REC revenues are going to facilities that need the funds in the short term to develop a long term sustainable source of renewable energy. In addition, the value of requiring in law that new hydro projects be certified by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (“LIHI”) is questioned. Projects built within the last 10 years have already gone through a rigorous federal and state review process.

Changes Recommended:

Maintain the RPS targets for Class I at current levels aimed at 20% by 2020

Do not make large hydro eligible for RECs.

Open the Class I sub-tier to other types of Class one renewables who choose to participate for long-term contracts

There is no need to set a vintage for existing projects

Require competitive solicitations and establish criteria for selection of contracts based on delivered price, consistency with policy goals.

Any change in biomass eligibility be phased in so that projects already under way or with financing and contracts in place that rely on RECs remain eligible for a reasonable period of time under the terms by which they originally qualified.

Sandi Hennequin, New England Power Generators Association

Creating a new sub-tier for Class I would be discriminating against in-state industrial employers by excluding them from the opportunity to bid on competitive Request for Proposals while forcing them to pay higher taxes. There is a certain level of regulation necessary for the RPS to be successful and making widespread changes would minimize this. Large-scale, government-owned hydro should not qualify for Connecticut's RPS, which exists to support emerging renewable energy resources. Large-scale hydro also doesn't meet RPS environmental goals. It is important to weigh all alternatives, not pick winners and losers. There is concern giving the DEEP commissioner greater authority to solicit proposals from Class I resources because there is no requirement for an analysis of need, nor to utilize competitive process. Underlying much of the proposed policy is the belief that certain infrastructure projects will be built on time, if at all. There is also the concern that there has been a lack of adequate stakeholder process.

Noreen Cullen, Glastonbury

“I object to the damage this bill would do to the goal of having our state and society powered by renewables.”

Pam McDonald, Simsbury

Bill 1138 put too much emphasis on fossil fuels and not enough on conservation and renewable energy. We are discovering that our planetary resources are limited and must begin to seriously cultivate generation from local, renewable resources.

Margaret E. Sheehan and Mary S. Booth, Partnership for Policy Integrity, Project for Energy Accountability

The bill as written doesn't fully address the problems with greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions from biomass energy. Net greenhouse gas emissions from biopower are “worse than coal.” Sustainable doesn't mean carbon neutral. Counting carbon dioxide emissions from transport ignores the enormous problem of stack emissions. The bill fails to protect forests from excessive harvesting for biomass fuel. Federal and other state energy policies are becoming more aware of bioenergy carbon dioxide emissions.

Patricia O'Brien, Old Saybrook

Bill 1138 will thwart efforts to make Connecticut supportive of alternative, renewable energy sources.

Pippa Ader, Westport

This bill will put Connecticut on a slippery slope towards weakening the RPS and relying on another country to provide renewable energy, costing jobs. The watering down of the Class I energy requirements is using ratepayer dollars to support uneconomical and environmentally damaging facilities. Please don't rush into this.

Larry Richardson, ReEnergy Holdings

This legislation would destabilize the market and needlessly remove new supply for RECs at precisely the time when we are all searching for ways to move toward clean, renewable energy. A significant number of jobs would be lost. This bill will negatively affect the ability to attract capital to finance new projects that legislation supposedly promotes because investors will lose faith in the RPS.

RENEW

Connecticut should provide competitive solicitations for long-term contracts without picking winners. The RPS approach is to develop new renewable sources and offsetting a portion for Canadian hydro does not follow this approach. Connecticut should explore opportunities for all hydro to provide base-load generation as well as the potential for load-following electricity. Connecticut companies are unlikely to benefit from Canadian renewable energy projects due to provincial local content requirements.

Paul Michaud, Renewable Energy and Efficiency Business Association

The entire process by which this bill was put forth was rushed and shows a lack of transparency by prohibiting public input, limiting the possibility of well thought-out legislation and undermining credibility. The bill proposes a dramatic departure from the principles of the RPS program. The measures will have a huge financial impact on fledging energy companies. Instead of seeking to enter into long-term contracts with foreign sources, Connecticut be seeking those contracts with in-region renewable energy generation.

Margaret Miner, Rivers Alliance of Connecticut

Hydropower is a river killer. Class I originally did not include hydropower because it is too destructive to be considered green. Hydropower in this state should be limited to facilities with the lowest possible impact. Hydro-Quebec is one of the most notoriously destructive hydro operations in the world.

Changes Recommended:

Delete or alter the requirement for run-of-river in Class I.

Consider efforts to reduce electricity use on predictably high-demand days.

Robert Macri, Macri Roofing

“I oppose Bill No. 1138 because of the harmful impact a redefined Class I would have on Connecticut's commercial solar thermal industry.”

Roberta Paro, Yantic

1138 dilutes Connecticut's RPS by providing corporate giveaways to Northeast Utilities and Hydro-Quebec, disrupting the market and sending our money to Canada.

Roger Smith, Clean Water Action

This bill radically departs from our current policies to promote renewable energy in Connecticut and opens up eligibility to foreign sources. Parts of it are vague and hard to understand. This is sweeping legislation without the benefit of underlying analysis. The megawatt limits in Section 5 are modest compared to the goals of the RPS. This statute needs to define sustainable harvesting of biomass and needs to do more to limit pollution. The removal of the “run of the river” standard is a threat to the health of rivers. They do support the removal of ratepayer-funded efficiency programs from Class III.

Rolland Zeleny, Mechanicsville Hydro

The proposed bill will likely gut the Class I program and destroy REC pricing, while benefiting foreign interests. In addition it will kill off many future developments for renewable energy.

Rose Chambers, UCONN Public Interest Research Group

This bill gives an unfair advantage to well-established generators while simultaneously disadvantaging newer ones. Hydropower is not a truly clean energy source because it causes soil erosion, watershed damage, and harms animals. The purpose of the RPS is to support emerging technologies that might not otherwise survive.

Sev Duvall, Sound Solar Systems

“My understanding is that SB 1138 would help out large ventures… at the expense of DG deals that IN-STATE FIRMS rely on for their bread and butter.” Things should be slowed down to get more input from firms around the state.

Carrie Hitt, Solar Energy Industries Association

It is recommended that the state avoid significant changes to the current RPS. They agree with the piece regarding long-term contracting as it has proven to drive down costs for ratepayers while encouraging investment.

Changes Recommended:

Maintain RPS targets for Class I at current levels

Do not award RECs for hydropower

Steve Hogan, Spire Solar

This bill will extinguish the growth of renewable energy in the state and negatively impact regional development. It is important that renewable energy can be nurtured and controlled by the people of Connecticut and not dependent upon out of state headquarters. They are privileged to be a part of the State's leading policies and hope to continue to be.

Todd Berch, Connecticut American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations

Classifying Canadian hydropower as Class I crowds out the potential for local investments to be part of Class I programs. All renewable energy proposals should seek to develop in-state jobs.

Walter Grant, Mystic

This bill will harm existing development of renewables including solar, wind, and geothermal.

William Dornbos, Environment Northeast

The fundamental purpose of the RPS is to help commercialize emerging technologies for generating clean electricity, not mature technologies such as large-scale hydro. The definition of “sustainable biomass fuels” is not clear, and additional limitations on biomass should be implemented to insure that fuel has a short carbon payback period. Requiring biomass facilities to remain RPS eligible by purchasing allowances through RGGI is not the way to address the complicated issue of lifecycle emissions. Eliminating the state's energy efficiency programs from eligibility in Class III comes at a time when leadership has been unable to implement full investment in all cost-effective energy efficiency. They do support long-term contracts, but feel the proposed provisions do not sufficiently clarify the criteria for soliciting, evaluating, addressing, negotiating, or enforcing contracts.

Changes Recommended:

Language that addresses:

- a ceiling price

- a capacity floor

- REC usage

- revenue

- folding transmission costs

Other concerns were addressed by the Substitute Language.

William Rees, Green Power Solutions

He would like to see focus on creation of energy solutions and jobs in state.

Changes Recommended:

“2) Section 3-45 (line 63), "Sustainable biomass fuel" does not means;

a. organic refuse fuel derived separately from municipal solid waste,

b. I would also like to have the following phrase follow to further define the phrase above.

i. except where used for the purposes of anaerobic digestion facilities on farmlands

3) Virtual Net Metering for Agricultural Producers

a. As seen in the HOUSE BILL 6360:

b. With the following changes: Section 7-d

i. The agricultural customer host shall not designate more than ten beneficial accounts each of which shall use electricity for the purpose of agriculture, as defined in subsection (q) of section 1-1, or to serve municipal or state accounts. “

Other concerns were addressed in the Substitute Language.

Reported by: Bernard Garrett

Date: 3/28/13