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Connecticut Selects 250 MW of Renewable Energy Projects: Offshore Wind, Fuel Cells Included

June 20, 2018
The projects include the state’s first procurement of offshore wind

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Klee have announced that Connecticut has selected over 250 MW of clean and renewable energy projects as part of DEEP’s recent Clean Energy Request for Proposals. The projects include the state’s first procurement of offshore wind, in addition to multiple fuel cell projects and a new anaerobic digestion facility.

The projects selected are:

-200 MW (824,830 MWh) offshore wind from the Revolution Wind Project (Deepwater Wind). This will be incremental to the 400 MW from the same project selected by Rhode Island.

-52 MW (450,011 MWh) fuel cells including:

  • Energy and Innovation Park New Britain (Doosan) 19.98 MW
  • Colchester (Bloom) 10 MW
  • Hartford Fuel Cell (Fuel Cell Energy) 7.4 MW
  • Derby Fuel Cell (Fuel Cell Energy) 14.8 MW
  • 1.6 MW (10,519 MWh) Anaerobic Digestion Southington (Turning Earth)

The competitive process and buying in bulk with other states in the region continues to successfully drive costs down while at the same time achieving a cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable electric grid. The selections in this procurement are equivalent to 4.7% of Connecticut’s load. Selected projects will now enter negotiations with the electric distribution utilities, Eversource and United Illuminating, to reach agreement on 20 year contracts. If successful, the contracts will be brought to PURA for final approval.

Offshore Wind

Along with neighboring states in the region, Connecticut has achieved an historic offshore wind purchase totaling 1400 MW (800MW by Massachusetts, 400MW by Rhode Island, and 200MW by Connecticut).
Connecticut’s authority under Public Act 17-144 for offshore wind is limited to 3% of the Connecticut Electric Distribution Companies’ total electric load, and Connecticut has selected that full amount.

Deepwater Wind made specific commitments around job development and use of the Port of New London, including:

  • At least $15,000,000 investment in the New London State Pier to allow substantial aspects of the project to be constructed in New London spurring significant economic development during construction and attracting additional offshore wind projects to take advantage of the investments.
  • Significant portions of construction and/or assembly will occur in New London, including foundation components (known as “Secondary Steel”) and the offshore substation.
  • Contracting with a Connecticut-based boat builder to construct one of the project’s crew transfer vessels in Connecticut.
  • Opening and staffing a new development office in New London.
  • Entering into a host-community agreement with the City of New London to support offshore wind and economic development.
  • Consulting with the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board and their existing workforce programs for opportunities for workforce development.
  • Developing a strong research partnership with the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point Campus.
  • Providing local businesses with opportunities to participate in the development process that will include local content targets established in consultation with the State.

This selection is expected to lead to the creation of over 1,400 direct, indirect and induced jobs.

Fuel Cells

-Selected 52 MW, which will double the installed capacity of fuel cells in the state to ~100MW

-By comparison:

  • California has ~210 MW of installed fuel cells, but is 8.5x larger than CT based on electric load
  • New York has ~20 MW of installed fuel cells, but is 5x larger than CT based on electric load

For example, the Energy and Innovation Park New Britain project, powered by Doosan manufactured fuel cells, showcases the use of combined heat and power for heating and cooling the surrounding businesses including the Stanley Black & Decker manufacturing in the area– making the productive use of the project’s full output and improved efficiency (78% efficient). This project is the first phase of multi-phase economic development project. Phase one promises over 400 jobs (219 direct jobs and 136 induced jobs during manufacturing and construction as well as 44 direct jobs and 17 induced jobs during operations).

The other three fuel cell projects are located in urban areas near load centers and/or cited on brownfields or other commercial property. Combined these three projects will create or retain more than 200 jobs.

The average price for fuel cells declined from 15.6 cents/kWh in the 2011/2012 Section 127 procurement to 11.6 cents/kWh with these selections.

Anaerobic Digestion

The Turning Earth Anaerobic Digestion Project in Southington will help the state meet its waste management goals processing 54,000 tons of food waste, 15,000 tons of yard and woody waste creating 90,000 cubic yards of compost and mulch. The project is located in an industrial zone. It will create or retain more than 500 jobs during construction of the facility and five full time jobs during operation for the next 30-50 years.

Future procurements and clean energy opportunities

This summer through fall, DEEP will be conducting another clean energy solicitation, under authority created by June 2017 Special Session Public Act No. 17-3, in which zero-carbon resources are eligible.

Fuel cells continue to be eligible for the annual Low Emission Renewable Energy Credit (LREC) auction, which was extended for one more year under Section 6 of Public Act 18-50.

Fuel cells and anaerobic digestion will also be eligible for the successor auction program under Section 7 of Public Act 18-50, which calls for up to an additional 10 MW per year of low-emission renewables deployment for the next 6 years.

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