Energy and Technology Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-928

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING SHARED CLEAN ENERGY FACILITIES.

Vote Date:

3/24/2015

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/17/2015

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Energy and Technology Committee

Representative Kim Rose, 118th Dist.

REASONS FOR BILL:

The purpose of this bill is to allow for the shared use of solar clean energy facilities, defined as a Class I renewable energy source with a nameplate capacity rating of four megawatts or less with at least two subscribers.

The substitute language becomes the bill and directs the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to establish a three-year pilot program to support the development of shared clean energy facilities. On or before January 1, 2019, DEEP shall file a report analyzing the success of the pilot program and shared clean energy programs in other states, and recommending whether a permanent program should be established in Connecticut.

Due to the nature of the substitute language, testimony submitted in support of the bill as originally drafted may now be in opposition, and testimony submitted in opposition to the bill as originally drafted advocating may now be in support.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Elin Swanson Katz

On behalf of the Office of Consumer Counsel

The optimal approach to larger scale renewable development is to determine a mix of resources that meets our clean energy and reliability goals with the most cost-effective resources for Connecticut ratepayers. From a cost perspective, while the residential rooftop solar program as proposed would cost approximately 23-30 cents per kWh, grid-side solar could cost approximately half that amount, and out of state wind could cost a third of that amount.

There are technical, cost and consumer protection issues that need to be investigated thoroughly before a large-scale program should be rolled out. The OCC supports a pilot program for shared solar, with a DEEP process to determine the appropriate incentive, in order to provide local experience and data to help instruct further development.

Lynn Stoddard, Director

On behalf of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University

In order to build on Connecticut's progress in growing the residential solar power market, we must enable access to renewable energy to a broader range of Connecticut's residents, specifically renters and other residents whose homes are not appropriate sites for solar power. As many as 80% of Connecticut residents interested in the traditional residential solar program may have homes that are not suitable for solar. A shared clean energy program will enable this large group of residents to enjoy the many financial and environmental benefits of clean, renewable energy and for the state to reap the benefits of economic development and job creation.

Richard H. Strauss

On behalf of Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE)

CASE recently completed a study on behalf of the Energy and Technology Committee and a briefing for the committee on March 3, 2015. They submitted a comparison of the bill as originally drafted with the CASE report.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Mayor Bill Finch

On behalf of the City of Bridgeport

The bill would allow many of Bridgeport's residents who are not otherwise able to install renewable energy of their own, such as renters, condo-owners, businesses and homeowners whose single-family homes are ill-suited for effective solar installation, to invest and participate in shared clean energy facilities and receive credit on their utility bill for their portion of the energy produced. In doing so, their investment would act as an economic catalyst for clean energy producers and allow Bridgeport to meet its renewable energy goals by promoting further clean energy use. The result would be more green jobs and cleaner air.

William E. Dornbos

On behalf of Acadia Center

Shared clean energy facilities will be an important feature of a modern, sustainable grid. They offer the exciting promise of community-focused clean power. If they are placed within a grid modernization policy framework, and are properly designed and implemented, shared clean energy facilities could help cut energy costs for our residents and businesses, optimize our grid investments to the benefit of all grid participants, and improve the grid's reliability and resilience through their distributed nature. Shared cleaned energy facilities also have the potential to spread the economic benefit of clean energy more widely.

They recommend that the bill be modified to ensure that all residents, regardless of their income level, have fair access to the benefits of shared clean energy facilities. They also recommend that the definition of an eligible subscriber in the bill be modified to place a geographic proximity on its scope.

Clean Energy Collective, Clean Water Action, Community Energy, Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Connecticut Citizen Action Group, ConnPIRG, Environment Connecticut, Greenskies Renewable Energy, NRG Home Solar, Inc., Operation Fuel, Inc., Renewable Energy and Efficiency Business Association, Sierra Club – Connecticut Chapter, Vote Solar, Town of North Branford Office of Social Services, and Windham Area Interfaith Ministry

The bill will expand access to renewable energy to the majority of energy customers, for whom the traditional panels-on-your-roof model simply does not work. A well-designed shared renewables program can help low- and moderate-income families, individuals and business access the benefits of clean energy and the programs that support clean energy. Access to clean energy can help customers stabilize and reduce their energy bills, which is all the more important for low- and moderate-income communities where utility bills make up a larger portion of their expenses. The solar industry has added around 500 jobs in the last year and each new installation leads to investment in the local economy and long term energy savings to local consumers.

Joel M. Rinebold

On behalf of Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. (CCAT)

CCAT is supportive of the concepts raised in the bill to develop Class I renewable energy sources, especially combined heat and power technologies such as fuel cells. Large fuel cells for stationary power are the only distributed generation technology principally developed and manufactured in Connecticut, with at least 600 companies that are part of the growing hydrogen and fuel cell industry supply chain in the Northeast region. Requests for proposals the would be issued by DEEP should include technology manufactures in CT, high capacity/availability factor, technology that provides both heat and power for end users, and technology that can be dispatched to support the grid.

Stephen Gibelli

On behalf of Eversource Energy

Eversource does not oppose the concept of a limited pilot, remaining concerned with the development of a program with includes rate credits, absent a study of the benefits and cost shifting impacts.

Eversource opposed the bill as originally drafted. The bill as originally drafted requires electric distribution companies to purchase the electricity from the clean energy facility at the marginal price. Eversource believes that the distribution companies should not be required to undertake such a purpose. They are concerned that the bill will shift costs to non-participating customers.

Roddy Diotalevi

On behalf of UIL Holdings Corporation

A pilot program will ensure that program costs are controlled, allow time for a proceeding to determine the true value of solar, and allow the issue of ratepayer fairness to be fully addressed. The bill requires a competitive solicitation for the construction of the shared clean energy facility, which will drive down the cost of the shared clean energy facility.

UIL was opposed to the bill as originally drafted. As the bill was originally drafted, the EDC would be paying the subscribers the full bundled retail cost per kilowatt-hour for the energy from the project, cost-shift from participants to non-participants. They do not support the provision in the bill as originally drafted for subscriber organizations to requires that the credits to the subscribers be handled by the EDC.

Michael Trahan

On behalf of SolarConnecticut

The bill would involve the construction of commercial solar projects, which will be constructed by businesses that do not install residential systems, filling more jobs on top of the job growth that the residential solar market would experience. Officials in Minnesota opened a solicitation for new shared solar projects. They expected 100 MWs to be proposed and received proposals for more than four times that amount. SolarConnecticut urges the Committee to include language for the completion of a Value-of-Solar study.

Barbara Sterling Backman

On behalf of People's Action for Clean Energy (PACE)

Shared clean energy facilities will allow more people to be a part of the clean energy movement, encourage the small business and private investment clean energy economy, and make clean energy more affordable.

Brian Paganini

On behalf of Quantum Biopower, LLC

The bill creates a mechanism for anaerobic digestion projects to share the benefit of renewable energy produced with organic waste generating partners that supply the fuel to Quantum's 1MW anaerobic digester facility in Southington, CT. The bill will allow them to work with area food waste generators to subscribe to receive the benefit of shared clean energy facility credits derived from the decomposition of their waste.

Paula Panzarella

On behalf of Fight the Hike

Although all ratepayers are charged to add to the funds for promoting clean energy projects, only a fraction of residences can take advantage of the technology and programs. Ten states have developed a shared renewable policy. In New England, we should be following the path of Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. The advantage of shared renewable facilities has been established in other parts of the country. Especially in the inner-cities, we are already living with an overload of pollutants, asthma and automobile exhaust. Shared clean energy facilities would allow city-dwelling low-wage earners to have access to clean energy and take advantage of the programs just as well-off people can. Since everyone pays into the funds to help subsidize the programs it is right that everyone should be able to reap the benefits.

Bernard J. Zahren and Jigar Shah

On behalf of Zahren Financial Co., LLC and Clean Feet Investors I, LLC

Connecticut could benefit from new jobs, large capital investment, community shared benefits and an improved electric grid architecture as a result of this legislation. The 30% Federal Tax Credits for renewable energy projects will expire by 12/31/16, which can be the swing factor in a decision to build or not build a solar PV project with private capital. The ZREC bid prices for Connecticut Class 1 projects have been falling in each year of the bid allocation process and are expected to continue to decline. The grid infrastructure is at risk from increased disruption from severe weather events, greatly influenced by global climate change. Distributed generation is essential to allow local priorities of the grid to operate independently of the system-wide transmission and distribution system.

Cameron Zavattero

The bill will help ease the burden of high electricity rates and be a win for the environment.

Noreen P. Cullen

The bill is exactly what the state needs to wean ourselves off highly destructive nuclear and fossil fuels.

Jen Huddleston

Middlefield, CT has a potential project for a solar array that would be owned by a common council of people or business using net metering.

Frank Panzarella

The bill would allow communities to band together and use common sites to produce solar power for people in locations with small roofs, too much shade, or crowded inner-city neighborhoods. Until recently, the clean energy fund and efficiency funds mostly benefited corporations and well-off people. They were subsidized by all ratepayers, including working and low-income families, who paid the clean energy charge on the electric bill. While most people had virtually no options to receive the benefits of solar, everyone has had to pay the clean energy share.

Bringing shared solar to congested urban centers can help reduce CO2 and other pollutants. It can also help reduce the most costly peak power costs for the state for which we are currently being penalized by a federal tax on our energy and must compensate for by running expensive, polluting, turbine power plants.

Robert A. Maddox, Jr.

The bill would help Connecticut become energy secure. We only produce about 26% of the BTUs we consume, making us highly vulnerable to outside forces that can disrupt our economy. This legislation is about fairness. Only about 25% of buildings in the US can accommodate solar energy. Not allowing every resident in Connecticut the opportunity to receive benefits of distributed energy is wrong and unfair. This legislation is about economic opportunity. Millions of dollars in economic activity is being generated and there is significantly opportunity for much more.

George Rawitscher

Mr. Rawitscher offered support for the bill.

Peter Hanson

Mr. Hansen asks to support expanding access to renewable energy, like solar PV, to all Connecticut families and businesses through creation of a shared solar program.

Eszter Samodai

It is an important time to move ahead with expanding the renewable energy in our state, and shared solar must be one of the options.

Mike Haymes, Ph.D.

Dr. Haymes supports subscriber funded clean energy facilities. He questions how construction and management costs would be funded, whether bond underwriters would accept commitments as subscribers as guarantees and whether projected subscriptions cover enough of initial costs to impress them.

People's Action for Clean Energy (PACE) Community Letter

Genuinely green energy sources have always been the right environmental choice. The bill would allow more citizens whose property is not currently well-suited to effective green energy installments, to participate in safe, healthy, forward-thinking and cost-effective systems of energy generation without taking money from our state's budget. The bill is a jobs bill, one that would provide work opportunities within the state, allowing local people to contribute their labor to their neighbors' well-being and to their state's security as they earn an income for their own families.

The following 20 individuals and organizations submitted this testimony from PACE:

JoAnne Bauer

Joan Benham

Trudy Dujardin – Dujardin Design Associates

Bill Farkas

James Hall

Stephen C. Hall – Chandler LLC

Girard and Grace Hayes

Geraldine Kuenkler

Jane Latus

Peggy Loeffler

Debbie Lundgren

John Magnesi

Pam McDonald

Gail Merrill

John Pecora

Alisa Phillips-Griggs

Gary Pontelandolfo

Leo Smith

Andrew Winston – Winston Eco-Strategies, LLC

Christopher Zurcher

Connecticut Chapter of the Sierra Club Community Letter

Connecticut needs more in-state clean energy to meet our renewable energy goals, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to prevent air pollution, and to power our economy by creating new jobs. The bill will establish a program to allow homeowners with shaded roofs, renters, condo dwellers and businesses that lease space to participate as subscribers in a solar installation, or other shared clean energy facility, whether it's next door or across town.

They urge the committee to make sure the final language is strong and effective.

The following 378 individuals submitted this testimony from the Connecticut Chapter of the Sierra Club:

Ruth Abdella

Lucy Ackemann

Thomas Adamski

Margaret Alcala

Richard Allen

Kay Allison

Dean Anderson

Steven Andrychowski

Joshua Angelus

Peter Aron

Sissy Aron

Myra Aronow

Dr. Henry Auer

Patricia Austin-Puccio

Opala Avdiu

Jill Badyrka

Bridget Baird

Karen Baouche

Carole Barber

Joe Barber

James Barbetti

Susan Bates

Jacob Bean

Linda Beers

Jeremiah Belanger

Raymond Belding

Sylvain Beloin

Al Benford

Joan Benham

Tuula Berke

Margaret P'Hara Best

Elaine Betoncourt

Meredith Betts

Stan Bielski

Theresa Birmingham

Joel Blumert

Patricia Bolles

Suzanne Bores

Emma Bragg

Warren & Bodil Braren

Nicole Bratkovics

Joan Braum

Sherri Bresson

Pam Bridgeford

Caitlin Briody

Allan Brison

Dr. David Brothers

Robert Bruder

Mallory Buckingham

Charlie Burnes

Deborah Cady

John D. Calandrelli

David Campbell

Dorothy Canevari

Evan Carlson

Paul Carnes

Kathy Chase

Michael Chavez

Phil Chester

Ruth Clancy

Susan Clancy

Robert Clarke

Hannah Coffman

Kathleen Coleman

Jessica Conrod

Robin Cooper

Ruthellen Corbett

Jeff Cordulack

Sylvia Corrigan

Monique Corriveau

Sean Corvino

Chris Covney

Trever Cowles

Nancy Crider

S. Ann Crossley

Andrew Crowe

Jan Cunningham

Deborah Dahlgren

Kelly Dailey

Mark Damoth

Sarah Dann

Edward D'Arcangelis

Steven Davino

Philip Davis

Cindy Denmark

Dennis Desmarais

Mrs. John Di Biase Jr.

Robert Dickinson

Emily Dickinson-Adams

Robert Dickonson

Susan Dimmock

Alan Dinsmoor

Lucius Dionysus

Joseph Dominick

Philip Dooley

James Eaton

Dr. Matthew Egan

Hazel Eisenberg

Seth Erazmus

Robert Erman

Evelyn Farbman

Jack Farrell

Andrea Feig

Julius Ferguson

Heather Files

Francie Fillatti

Kristin Fischer

Norma Fitzpatrick

Paul Flemming

Bob Flenner

Lenore Fogel

Debra Fontaine

Matthew Ford

Stephanie C. Fox

Joseph Freeman

Judith Friedman

David Frost

Sarah Ganong

Pedro Garcia

Carmela Garofalo

Linda Gilchrist

Ginger Girard

John Glooch

Debra Goodwin

Scott Gorn

Walter Grant

Royal Graves

Elssa Green

Deborah Gryk

Cindy Guarnieri

Mary Guillet

Yulia Gurevich

Eric Haeseler

Lucinda Hannon

Yvonne Hardgrave

Wende Harper

M. Hastey

Dr. John Hay

Maxine Hayes

Maurice Hebb

Janet Heller

Patricia Henderson

Andrew Henry

Wendy Herbert

Richard Hermenze

Jane Herschlag

Daniel Heuer

David Hines

Norman Hines

Diana Emery Hiza

Francine Hodovan

Elke Hoppenbrouwers

Marianne Horn

Don Hotchkiss

Emma Hoyt

Kevin Hughes

Priscilla Humphrey

Sherry Jagerson

Thomas Jannke

Lois Jason

Jonathan Jette

Chris Jobson

Beverlee Johnson

Scott Johnstone

Deborah Joy

Lawrence Kaley

Jolyne Kane

Jean Kappes

Kevin Karl

Debbie Kearns

Ivette Keefe

Helen Keegan

Daniyal N. Khan

Lori Kierstead-Waibel

Paul Kirschner

Susan Klaus

Martha Klein

Jennifer Kleindinest

Adelheid Koepfer

Janice Kraus

Monika Kryskicki

Mike Kulikowski

Miriam Kurland

Laura Labucki

Sharron Lee Laplante

Christine Larson

Michelle Laubin

Katherine Lee

Diane Lentakis

Melissa Leonard

Annette Levy

Mark Lewis

Margaret Lewis

Lynn Limeburner

Barry Lincoln

Corey Lind

James Lipton

Robert Lockhart

Adrienne Long

C. Longmore

Hector Lopez

Lawrence Losio

David Lounder

Dorothy Lovett Buckley

Melissa Lowe

Eric Lowe

Dr. Steven Lu

Ellaine Lurie-Janicki

Sam M.

Ann Marie Maconus

Paul Madzik

Edith Mailloux

Alex Makkaveyev

Martin Malin

Carolyn Malmborg

Kevin Malone

Kris Mandelbaum

Robert Marchetti

Bonnie Margolis

Dr. Dominic Marino

Sharon Marquis

Ruth Martin

Phyllis Mason

Ruby Masters

Stephen Matic

Charles McCaughtry

Peter McEachern

Dr. Donald McGregor

William McKinney

Peter McKnight

Kathei McMullen

Jonathan Metivier

Carl Meyer

Melissa Meyer

Harold Meyer Jr.

Lee Michelsen

Arlene Mittenthal

Sharon Miville

Elizabeh Montgomery

Sean Mooney

Kathy Morey

Steve Morrell

Laura Morrison

Gail Moskow

Mark Moyle

Christina Murphy

Martin Murray

Clark Nelson

Robert Nestmith

Janet Nevins

Tiffany Ng

Heidi Novak

Bonnie Odiorne

Ilsa Olson

Den O'Neill

Sherry Osadchey

Carole Osborn

Erin Ostberg

Maria Osterholm

Dr. Phyllis Pallett-Hehn

Roberta Paro

Timothy Parsons

Katrina Parzych

Lynn-Ann Persampieri

Monika Ph

Kelsey Pietropaolo

Susan Pildner

Joan Pilz

Mary Pinto

Trish Plasky

Gail Plazkiewicz

Jay Pocius

Christine Porrello

Nancy Potvin

Elizabeth Prete

Patricia Pritchard

Nicole Puttick

Suzanne Pyle

Dr. Jacob Raitt

Deborah Reyes

Elizabeth Rhoades

Jeffre Rivenbur

Carlos Rivera

Gary Robertson

Arthur Robidoux

Donna Robinson

Deborah Roe

David Roones

Scott S

Glynis S.

Will Santora

Melissa Savilonis

David Schmidt II

Chris Schweitzer

Elizabeth Scott

Gordon Scruton

Deborah Semonich

Mary Sena

Virgina Sendor

Debbie Seymour

Ed Shea

Jane Shepard

Michael Sherber

Mary Lou Shirkey-Barrett

Allisyn Shlank

Dr. Scott Shuler

Yannis Sidakis

G. Simmons

Joseph Simons

Kelly Siranko

Kenneth Siskind

Dr. Merton Smith

Paige Smith

John Smith Jr.

Tina Snyder

Ross Spiegel

Sharyn St. Clair

Loretta Stagen

Richard Stanley

Jennifer Starble

Jane Steisel

Judith Stelboum

Mark Stephens

Roma Stibravy

Karen Stimson

Dr. John Strauss

Carolyn Suchenicz

Melissa Suntheimer

Rebecca Surprenant

Lindsay Sutter

Paul Swanke

Dr. Warren Swanson

Erin Sward

Donna Sweidan

John Tamsin

Annete Tchelka

Justine Till

Christina Tirado

David Torgersen

Michael Torres

Dr. Michael Tucker

Francine Ungaro

Dr. William Upholt

Mary Valencia

Stan Valinski

Cathy Valley

Peter Van Ness

Don van Rhyn

Kate Vanderzee-Glidden

Tricia Vekony

Susan & Anthony Vessicchio

Deborah Warren

Dr. Richard Watson

Steve Watson

Mary Waxenberg

Jean Webber

Jean Webber

Gladys Weimer

Anthony Westman

Margo Wheeler

Wendy Whitaker

Marj White

Marcia Wilkins

Ruth Williams

Todd Williams

Jonathan Williams

James Williams

Linda Wilscam

Meghan Wilson

Deb Wilson

Paul Winter

Tiffany Witmer

Brean Yates

Colleen Young

Anna Zancan

Linda Zastrow

Mario Zecca

Janet Zeh

David Zimmerman

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Mike Silvestrini

On behalf of Greenskies Renewable Energy

DEEP will fall short of its RPS goals by 2019, and the bill would prevent that from happening. He would encourage the committee consider that: No pilot is necessary, 5MW is the right number, and other technical changes to the bill as drafted.

Sean Garren

On behalf of The Vote Solar Initiative

There is no need to limit shared clean energy to a pilot program given the comprehensive assessment of the policy recently conducted for the General Assembly by the CT Academy of Science and Engineering that recommends against such a pilot program.

The bill as originally drafted would, for the first time, give all customers access to clean energy. Currently around three quarters of Connecticut's energy customers can't put solar on their property, either because they rent their home or business, or because their property isn't suitable. Shared clean energy can solve that problem.

Shared clean energy is an established framework that is operating successfully in 10 states and a pilot program would be an unnecessary delay. The U.S. Department of Energy and many of the nation's largest banks and investors have already pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into this business model. Shared energy benefits all ratepayers. Sometimes concerns are heard that these programs will raise rates for non-participating ratepayers. The bill includes mechanisms to allow the electric utilities to recover certain costs from the project, cap project size, and adapt to future rate changes.

Chris Phelps

On behalf of Environment Connecticut

They support the findings of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering's recent report, Shared Clean Energy Facilities, which outlined a suggested policy approach to implementing shared clean energy in Connecticut.

Jeffrey S. Lord

On behalf of Clean Energy Collective (CEC)

CEC understands the desire to learn from an initial round of projects and adjust program rules accordingly, but are confident that this can be accomplished without artificially constraining the market for the next three years. By 2019, Connecticut would have fallen far behind in this competitive transition to clean energy infrastructure.

The bill as originally drafted creates a framework for an effective shared clean energy program that will benefit all involved. The bill is based on the Interstate Renewable Energy Council's Model Rules for Shared Renewable Energy Programs, nationally regarded as best practice. Shared clean energy is working across the country. Ten states, including all of the other New England states, have enacted some form of shared clean energy program.

Eric Brown

On behalf of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA)

The creation of a system where local generation of energy from Class 1 renewable sources can be shared beyond the owner or operator of the generation unit is worth exploring, but opposes this bill which appears to place virtually all the costs and risks associated with such projects on non-participating ratepayers.

The bill provides that a shared clean energy facility may be built, owned or operated by a third-party entity under contract with a subscriber organization, a newly created, non-descript entity, prohibited from regulation by the bill. Should the shared energy system by undersubscribed, the bill required EDCs purchase the capacity at marginal prices. Thus the subscription risk to the subscriber organization is completely assumed by the EDCs and their ratepayers. The bill provides that EDCs may recover costs associated with administering shared clean energy facilities but does not specify from whom those costs will be recovered.

Dan Hendrick

On behalf of NRG

Connecticut risks losing out if a small-scale pilot program is adopted. Massachusetts and other states have already provided that a full-scale shared renewable program works. Competitive, private-market solutions were keys to success in those states, as were the partnerships between renewables developers and the regulated utilities.

NRG supports the bill as originally drafted. Despite the steadily increasing consumer demand for renewables, only a fraction of Connecticut households currently qualify for rooftop solar. In addition to democratizing clean energy and increasing the number of Connecticut households that would be able to have a solar option by the hundreds of thousands, a strong shared renewables program will help the state meet its environmental goals and create jobs across the state.

Shannon Smyth

On behalf of Connecticut Fund for the Environment (CFE)

Establishing a pilot program would cause unnecessary delay in implementing a shared clean energy facilities program. As CASE stated in Shared Clean Energy Facilities, “the uncertainty created by classifying the new program as a pilot would inhibit project development and investment.

CFE supports the bill as originally drafted. Shared clean energy facilities would expand Connecticut residents' access to clean energy resources and help the state achieve its climate and energy goals. Despite growing interest and commitment to clean energy resources, many Connecticut residents cannot access them. Allowing the operation of shared clean energy facilities would dramatically expand access to clean energy resources, including solar power and other types of distributed generation energy resources, such as fuel cells. They recommend that H.B. 6023, AAC Distributed Generation (ET) be incorporated into the bill to study the value of solar and other clean distributed generation resources.

Joel N. Gordes and David Anderson

A pilot project is a half measure and was soundly rejected by the CASE study committee.

They support the bill as originally drafted. Shared clean energy facilities provide a high degree of equity heretofore missing, particularly those employing photovoltaics (PV). A majority of residents cannot install PV systems on their homes. The shared clean energy facilities allow them to subscribe to the output of a facility and by using virtual net metering to obtain most of the value of PV which assign kWh credit from a well-positioned site. Utilities continue to promote the myth the renewable energy is heavily subsidized by cost-shifting to other ratepayers. Net metering payments are not subsidies, they are compensation for energy generated and other value streams provided by PV system owners through net metering laws. Shared facilities may be employed for low-income populations. One vision is that groups like Operation Fuel, which already aids people to pay electric bills and AARP could use contributions to buy or invest in shared clean energy facilities or benefit from crowdfunding to do so.

Martin Mador

On behalf of the Connecticut Chapter of the Sierra Club

A pilot program is an unnecessary and ill-advised delay which serves no purpose. Shared solar programs already operate in over 10 states. The sooner the program becomes operational here, the sooner shaded homeowners, apartment and condo dwellers, and business in rented spaces can participate in renewable energy.

They support the bill as originally dragged and recommend the CASE report issued March 5 to the Committee. It calls for creating a program immediately, with an interim funding structure.

Reported by: Ben Shaiken

Date: March 30, 2015