In December Connecticut announced that it signed contracts to get roughly 45 percent of its energy 11,658,080 megawatt hours, from solar, wind and nuclear energy. The state will source the power from nine solar projects, an offshore wind farm and two nuclear facilities.
“Make no mistake, we are facing a climate crisis with the future of the planet is at stake,” said Governor Dannel Malloy (D). “Despite President Trump’s refusal to listen to scientists on this matter, the reality is that urgent and significant action is needed to dramatically reduce our dependence on carbon-based energy sources. In addition, we need to increase investments in clean energy like offshore wind, solar, and grid-scale storage. Should we fail to do so, we will fail to prevent the catastrophic outcomes that will result from climate change.”
The state has been taking actions to increase its installed renewable energy and to reduce the impact of climate change, particularly in its coastal communities, which will see the most impact. Last year Malloy also signed new solar rooftop legislation into law. Still the state has seen some setbacks as it tries to expand its renewable resources.
“The recent United Nations IPCC and Fourth National Climate Assessment Reports make clear that we are running out of time to decarbonize the energy sector,” said Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Robert Klee. “The selection of this diverse portfolio of zero-carbon resources ensures that Connecticut is doing its part to address climate change.”
The new solar projects will add a total of 165 megawatts of energy to Connecticut, while the offshore wind farm will add 100 MWs of energy. The solar plants, two of which include energy storage, will be built in Connecticut and throughout New England.
The solar projects will deliver energy at an average levelized cost of about 4.9 cents per kilowatt hour. The state said the rate of solar power is approaching parity with the market price of energy from other resources. and represents continued price reductions compared to our last procurement of grid scale solar, as well as additional savings to ratepayers.
The state also signed contracts for carbon-free nuclear energy from two existing nuclear facilities, the Millstone Power Station in Connecticut and the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant in New Hampshire. The Millstone solar plant is at-risk or early retirement as the costs of renewable energy goes down.
“We agreed with PURA that the Millstone nuclear facility is at risk of early retirement and created an evaluation framework that let us compare the costs of retaining the resource with the cost of replacing it over time with a variety of renewable resources,” Klee said. “We remain committed to keeping this valuable zero-carbon resource, provided that it is affordable, as we work towards long-term replacement through smart investments in offshore wind and solar paired with grid-scale storage. At the same time, we believe ratepayers deserve, and can get, a more competitive price for Millstone’s output.”Tweet