Archive

Threat of shutdown hovers over negotiations between Millstone and utilities over power prices

The Malloy administration last year selected Millstone as a source of “low-cost zero carbon energy” and offshore wind that combined will bolster Connecticut’s contribution to reduced emissions. The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection directed Eversource and UI to negotiate a price downward “to better reflect a reasonable rate of return for the plant’s owner, Dominion Energy,” then-Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in December.

A “normal utility rate of return on equity” is 9 percent, but the state would consider 12 percent to 15 percent reasonable for a plant with a long-term contract, Malloy said.

Emily Lewis, a senior policy analyst at the Acadia Center, an environmental advocacy group, said the attempt to negotiate a lower price with Millstone is a “big ask.”

“It comes back to ratepayers,” she said. “How much are ratepayers going to pay to subsidize Millstone?”

Read the full article from the Hartford Courant here.

State eyes investments in electrifying vehicle fleet

Rep. Roland Lemar, D-New Haven, who co-chairs the Transportation Committee, said lawmakers soon would introduce legislation requiring half of the state’s light-duty fleet, and 30 percent of public transit vehicles, to be electric by 2030.

“We know that’s just the start,” Lemar said, adding that state cooperation with advocates and the private sector would create jobs, boost the economy and improve the environment.

Emily Lewis, a policy analyst with the Acadia Center, said electric vehicles reduce emissions by about 75 percent compared to standard gas vehicles. She called electrifying the state fleet “a good place to start,” noting the state can lead by example and purchase electric vehicles while implementing policies to inspire consumers to do likewise.

Read the full article from The Day here (article may be behind paywall).

No ‘big splash’ as Connecticut continues slow wade into offshore wind

On Dec. 28, then-Gov. Dannel Malloy and former Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Klee announced 100 megawatts from Revolution Wind as the sole offshore wind project. Two nuclear plants and nine solar projects were among the other successful bids.

“What’s curious is they went with the smallest rather than the largest of orders,” said Emily Lewis, senior policy analyst with the environmental nonprofit Acadia Center. “This seems like the next incremental step to take. It wasn’t the big splash some of us were hoping for.”

Read the full article from Energy New Network here.

Clean energy advocates push for aggressive electric vehicle roadmap

The Connecticut EV Coalition advocates for solidifying the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR) program at least through 2025. The program offers incentives up to $5,000 for state residents who buy or lease a new battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric or fuel cell electric vehicle.

At least 35 vehicles are eligible for the program, and industry leaders say more electric cars — with longer mileage ranges — are coming to dealerships every year. The CHEAPR program is not funded through taxpayer or ratepayer dollars but through merger settlement funds set aside to help the state meet clean energy goals.

“Electrifying and modernizing transportation is key to a consumer-centric clean energy future,” said Emily Lewis, a senior policy analyst at Acadia Center, in a recent statement. “Electric cars and transit buses are healthier, free of tailpipe pollutants, and cheaper to operate.”

Read the full article from The Day here (article may be behind paywall).

Conn. Zero-Carbon Awards Include Nukes, OSW, Solar

Connecticut officials in June announced they would purchase 200 MW of output from the Revolution Wind project, adding to Rhode Island’s 400-MW procurement. (See Conn. Awards 200-MW OSW, 50-MW Fuel Cell Deals.)

The additional 100-MW “procurement is another step forward for Connecticut in growing its commitment to offshore wind,” said Emily Lewis, senior policy analyst at Acadia Center. “Adding more offshore wind to the state’s clean energy portfolio will continue the momentum of this growing industry … To ensure continued growth of this industry in Connecticut, the state should set an offshore wind mandate similar to other east coast states.”

Read the full article from RTO Insider here (article may be behind paywall).

Millstone, offshore wind among zero-carbon auction winners

Emily Lewis, senior policy analyst at Acadia Center, called the offshore wind procurement “another step forward for Connecticut.”

“Adding more offshore wind to the state’s clean energy portfolio will continue the momentum of this growing industry,” she said. “By carving out a portion of this RFP for offshore wind, the state is working to incrementally build its clean energy economy.”

Lewis said it seemed like Connecticut was “being a little shy” to enter the offshore wind game compared to Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. She noted the Acadia Center and Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs called on the state to set “an offshore wind mandate similar to other East Coast states.”

Read the full article from The Day here (article may be behind paywall).

State backs Millstone bid to compete as zero-emissions player in energy auctions

Environmental advocates also have questioned Millstone’s need for state action.

Emily Lewis, senior policy analyst at the Acadia Center, a clean energy advocacy group, said Millstone “plays an important role in the energy mix” because it does not produce carbon dioxide. But policymakers should not “throw money at Millstone that could be used for renewables” such as solar and wind power, she said.

If and when the plant is retired, the power it generates should be replaced by offshore wind, Lewis said.

Read the full article from the Hartford Courant here.

As market takes shape, Connecticut makes its first moves on offshore wind

The expansion of the offshore wind industry in the region has meant more competition, and more competition means lower costs. Emily Lewis, a policy analyst at the Acadia Center, said there’s a common misconception that offshore wind is more expensive than other forms of energy, when it’s actually quite cost competitive.

“The contracts that utilities entering with offshore wind companies are longer term,” she says. “Through that, they’re getting lower prices.”

The data is minimal right now, but her suspicion seems to be right. The price for the Block Island Wind Project was $0.244 per kWh, while the price for in-progress projects in Maryland is $0.132 per kWh.

Read the full article from Energy News here.

Merger of two wind power companies is good news for Connecticut, supporters say

Connecticut officials already have issued another request for proposals in an effort to meet the state’s clean energy goals for the future. Three offshore wind bids were among the dozens submitted and supporters of wind power in Connecticut are optimistic that request for proposals will yield further wind power projects to add to the state’s energy mix.

“These bids give Connecticut another opportunity to affordably meet its clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction requirements by bringing more offshore wind online,” said Emily Lewis, senior policy analyst at Acadia Center. “With this procurement, Connecticut should aim to keep pace with its neighbors and grow its offshore wind resource to maximize ratepayer savings, economic growth, and carbon-free electricity generation.”

Read the full article from the New Haven Register here.

Electric vehicle advocates urge Connecticut regulators not to forget sector in grid planning

A group of clean-energy proponents are calling on state utility regulators to make sure plans for modernizing the state’s power grid include the necessary components to accommodate the expected increase in use of electric vehicles.

[…]

“EVs are a key piece of Connecticut’s clean energy future, and the state’s utilities can play a role in advancing these vehicles,” said Emily Lewis, senior policy analyst for Acadia Center, a regional environmental group with an office in Connecticut. “Through this grid modernization proceeding, PURA can set the stage for utility engagement that supports EV deployment, protects consumers, and shares the benefits of EVs more equitably.”

Read the full article from the New Haven Register here.