OLR Bill Analysis
AN ACT ESTABLISHING A PILOT PROGRAM FOR THE HARNESSING OF COW POWER IN THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT.
This bill requires the energy and environmental protection commissioner, by July 1, 2018, to establish a pilot program for three Connecticut dairy farms to install and operate anaerobic digesters as a manure and nutrient management tool. The program must enable each anaerobic digester to host virtual net metering (see BACKGROUND).
Existing law, unchanged by the bill, caps the amount of agricultural virtual net metering credits each electric distribution company (i.e., Eversource and United Illuminating) may approve (CGS § 16-244u(e)). Virtual net metering is only available to the extent the company has not assigned its available credits to other projects.
The bill requires the commissioner, by July 1, 2019, to report to the Environment Committee on the pilot program's status and on any recommendations for expanding or modifying the program.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage
ANAEROBIC DIGESTER PROJECTS
The bill requires each anaerobic digester project under the pilot program to:
1. be on a Connecticut farm;
2. complement the farm's nutrient management plan, as certified by the Department of Agriculture;
3. be up to 500 kilowatts in size; and
4. use at least 85% animal manure.
Anaerobic digesters convert manure or other organic products into methane, the principal component of natural gas. Methane can be used for electricity generation, among other things.
Virtual Net Metering
The virtual net metering law allows municipal, state, and agricultural electric customers that install certain renewable generation systems (“hosts”) to (1) receive a billing credit for excess power their system generates and (2) share this credit with certain other accounts (“beneficial accounts”). An agricultural host may (1) own, lease, or enter into a long-term contract for an agricultural virtual net metering facility and (2) have up to 10 beneficial accounts (CGS § 16-244u).
Joint Favorable Substitute