By Brad Kane
Hartford Business Journal
The state’s policy reversal to publicly disclose the winners of a $1 billion renewable energy program may lead to more apprehension among participants but ultimately will result in more business opportunities to support the projects, officials say.
“It is a good move to promote Connecticut businesses,” said Michael Trahan, executive director of trade association Solar Connecticut. “We couldn’t determine if the program was going to work or not if the project winners weren’t going to be disclosed.”
Trahan said the disclosure requirement should be a boon to businesses that support the clean energy industry. They will now be able to identify project developers who can become potential customers for equipment purchases, trained labor, and long-term maintenance work.
When the Zero-emissions/Low-emissions Renewable Energy Credit program (ZREC/LREC) launched in 2012, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority initially decided the identities of the winners would be kept secret from the public. The program, which awards $1 billion over 21 years to renewable energy project developers, is administered by electric utilities Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating using ratepayer funds.
The utilities initially successfully argued the winners’ information was proprietary.
Hartford Business Journal on June 20 submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection requesting information on the winners, including the name of the applicant; exact address of the proposed project; business or agency that will host the project; size of the renewable installation; and technology used in that installation (solar, fuel cell, etc.). Read more…