Connecticut’s $10M Package To Boost Residential Solar

Connecticut is providing $10 million in incentives to support new residential solar PV systems.

The funding is coming via the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), a quasi-public agency set up by the state’s general assembly.

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image via SunRun

CEFIA is offering the money to solar installation companies that are already established in the state to help grow their business. It also hopes to encourage installers from out of state to invest locally.

The program is called “Race to the Rooftop” and the incentives package will support an additional 5.6 megawatts (MW) of new residential solar PV systems.

Bryan Garcia, President of CEFIA, said in a statement: “The ultimate objective is to provide a smooth transition from ratepayer incentives to financing solutions — leveraging a greater investment from private capital sources.  The race is on to create jobs, support the local economy and ramp up the deployment of cleaner and cheaper energy throughout Connecticut.”

Connecticut has some of the most pro-clean energy legislation in the U.S. Authorized under a 2010 energy bill, the state has committed itself to producing 27 per cent of its power from renewables by 2020.

Under the terms of the bill utilities are required to purchase a set amount of their energy from clean sources each year. According to estimates, the landmark clean energy law will require an incredible $1 billion investment. About three-quarters of the investment, $720 million, must be from zero emissions energy generation, like solar, wind or micro-hydro.

Under Connecticut’s new law, solar developers can bid for the contracts in reverse auctions by trying to bid the lowest price for every megawatt hour they generate, a process similar to the route taken in California, which used this policy to drive down solar prices.

The state’s Residential Solar Program, established by Public Act 11-80, requires CEFIA to achieve 30 MW of new residential PV installations by 2022.

According to CEFIA, its mission is “to help ensure Connecticut’s energy security and community prosperity by realizing its environmental and economic opportunities through clean energy finance and investments.”

As such, the finance authority’s aim is to leverage public and private funds to drive investment and scale-up clean energy deployment in Connecticut. The CEFIA is hoping the incentives package will support the deployment of an additional 5.6MW of new residential solar PV systems. It said that if the target was not achieved by April 2013, it will move to the next phase, which will be based on further analysis of the market.

According to CEFIA, the initial phase of its program reached over 200 households, resulting in a deployment of nearly 1.5 MW of new clean energy resources in Connecticut. The $2.5 million of incentives provided in that first phase generated nearly $5 million of extra investment in residential PV systems, the authority said.

Paul Willis has been journalist for a decade. Starting out in Northern England, from where he hails, he worked as a reporter on regional papers before graduating to the cut-throat world of London print media. On the way he spent a year as a correspondent in East Africa, writing about election fraud, drought and an Ethiopian version of American Idol. Since moving to America three years ago he has worked as a freelancer, working for CNN.com and major newspapers in Britain, Australia and North America. He writes on subjects as diverse as travel, media ethics and human evolution. He lives in New York where, in spite of the car fumes and the sometimes eccentric driving habits of the yellow cabs, he rides his bike everywhere.

    • Connecticut has some of the most pro-clean energy legislation in the U.S. Authorized under a 2010 energy bill, the state has committed itself to producing 27 per cent of its power from renewables by 2020.