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December 21, 2017 CT Green Guide

DEEP tees up retooled renewable energy purchase plan

Photo | Contributed A FuelCell Energy cogeneration (or combined-heat-and power) unit at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is gearing up to direct its next major purchase of renewable and clean energy, following a law passed this year.

Projects from across New England are eligible to submit proposals, so long as they are fuel cells, offshore wind or anaerobic digestion, according to the draft RFP document released by DEEP last Friday.

Fuel cell developers struck out in two RFPs 13 months ago, when solar projects dominated on price. But fuel cells could be a big winner in the new competitive process, which excludes solar.

Utilities could agree to purchase as much as 1,800 gigawatt hours of electricity from fuel cells, according to the draft documents.

And while there is a cap on the size of regular fuel cell projects, those that are configured to provide both electricity and heat to an nearby building (known as combined heat and power) will have no size limit.

After taking public comment on the draft RFP, DEEP expects to issue the final version on Jan. 31. Bids will be due April 1, and the state plans to announce winners in June.

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