State officials are looking to modernize Connecticut’s portfolio of biomass and landfill gas projects and later this month, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) will issue a request for proposals for electric power produced by those methods as well as by small hydropower facilities.
DEEP is seeking the proposals in order to meet Connecticut’s Class 1 renewable energy requirements, said Dennis Schain, an agency spokesman.
“We’re looking to make the renewable energy we get through biomass and landfill gas cleaner and more efficient,” Schain said. “Some of what we have now is older and not as efficient as we would like.”
DEEP will evaluate proposals based on a range of criteria focused heavily on pricing, but also considering reliability and environmental and economic development benefits for the state.
Last month, DEEP selected two large-scale projects from a request for proposals. One was the Number Nine Wind Farm, a 250 megawatt power project to be built in northern Maine, and the Fusion Solar Center, a 20 megawatt photovoltaic solar system to be built in Connecticut in Sprague and Lisbon on land owned by the Fusion Paperboard Co.
The cost of power from the two projects that were awarded last month will average under 8 cents per kilowatt hour (k/Wh). That is a price close to matching the cost of power generated from conventional fossil fuel plants and some of the lowest costs ever obtained for solar and wind power in the region, according to Schain.
The two requests for proposals are the result of action taken to Connecticut lawmakers earlier this year to revamp the state’s renewable portfolio standards. The standards commit Connecticut to obtaining 20 percent of its electric power from clean energy sources by 2020.
“This RFP for biomass, landfill gas, and run-of-river hydropower is our next move forward in fulfilling Governor Malloy’s vision of cheaper, cleaner and more reliable power for our residents and businesses,” Esty said in a statement.