Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 350

February Session, 2018

 

LCO No. 1377

 

*01377_______ENV*

Referred to Committee on ENVIRONMENT

 

Introduced by:

 

(ENV)

 

AN ACT REQUIRING THE POSTING OF A DECOMMISSIONING BOND FOR CERTAIN SOLAR PROJECTS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 16-50k of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of section 16-50z, no person shall exercise any right of eminent domain in contemplation of, commence the preparation of the site for, commence the construction or supplying of a facility, or commence any modification of a facility, that may, as determined by the council, have a substantial adverse environmental effect in the state without having first obtained a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need, hereinafter referred to as a "certificate", issued with respect to such facility or modification by the council. Certificates shall not be required for (1) fuel cells built within the state with a generating capacity of two hundred fifty kilowatts or less, or (2) fuel cells built out of state with a generating capacity of ten kilowatts or less. Any facility with respect to which a certificate is required shall thereafter be built, maintained and operated in conformity with such certificate and any terms, limitations or conditions contained therein. Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter or title 16a, the council shall, in the exercise of its jurisdiction over the siting of generating facilities, approve by declaratory ruling (A) the construction of a facility solely for the purpose of generating electricity, other than an electric generating facility that uses nuclear materials or coal as fuel, at a site where an electric generating facility operated prior to July 1, 2004, and (B) the construction or location of any fuel cell, unless the council finds a substantial adverse environmental effect, or of any customer-side distributed resources project or facility or grid-side distributed resources project or facility with a capacity of not more than sixty-five megawatts, as long as: (i) Such project meets air and water quality standards of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, (ii) the council does not find a substantial adverse environmental effect, and (iii) for a solar photovoltaic facility with a capacity of two or more megawatts, to be located on prime farmland or forestland, excluding any such facility that was selected by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in any solicitation issued prior to July 1, 2017, pursuant to section 16a-3f, 16a-3g or 16a-3j, the Department of Agriculture represents, in writing, to the council that such project will not materially affect the status of such land as prime farmland or the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection represents, in writing, to the council that such project will not materially affect the status of such land as core forest. In conducting an evaluation of a project for purposes of subparagraph (B)(iii) of this subsection, the Departments of Agriculture and Energy and Environmental Protection may consult with the United States Department of Agriculture and soil and water conservation districts. If the council approves a facility described in subparagraph (B)(iii) of this subsection and such facility will be located on prime farmland, the council shall require the posting of a decommissioning bond by the person seeking such certificate in an amount sufficient to restore such prime farmland to a productive agricultural condition.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2018

16-50k(a)

Statement of Purpose:

To require the posting of a decommissioning bond for certain solar projects that are installed on prime farmland in order to provide for the return of such land to a productive agricultural condition.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]