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December 15, 2015 Connecticut Green Guide

RFP for shared-solar pilot approaches

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) will soon issue a request for proposals seeking projects for the recently approved pilot program for shared clean energy facilities (SCEF).

In advance of the Jan. 1 RFP, DEEP asked the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) last week to implement a billing credit for electric utility customers subscribed to an SCEF and to clarify that the new law allows utilities to recover the cost of any power purchase agreement or tariffs needed to implement the pilot.

The legislature approved a two-year, six-megawatt pilot program over the summer for shared solar and other clean energy facilities. Such facilities — which include solar, fuel cells, geothermal, hydroelectric and other renewables — would serve multiple customers who contract for a percentage of the electricity produced or a set amount of electricity produced.

Because state law has not allowed it, there are currently no shared clean energy facilities operating in the state, according to the Office of Legislative Research. Massachusetts, Colorado and Minnesota allow community solar farms, OLR said.

Shared solar would provide a benefit to homeowners who have properties where solar would not work well due to shade and other conditions.

DEEP said it will select the projects through a competitive bidding process. Eligible projects must have a nameplate capacity rating between 100 kilowatts and one megawatt.

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