Connecticut’s release of its previously secret 21-year, $1 billion clean energy program information is expected as early as Wednesday, but eight of the dozens of companies that participated are working to keep their information from the public, regulatory filings show.
“It is a trade secret,” said Murtha Cullina attorney Paul Michaud, who represents four energy companies — Hartford Steam, SolarCity, Soltage, and SunEdison — that have filed protective order requests to keep certain project information secret. “There is a great deal of utility customer information that was in those sheets.”
The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority on July 10 reversed its previous ruling about confidential information regarding the Zero-emissions/Low-emissions Renewable Energy Credit, or ZREC/LREC program, which will award $1 billion over 21 years to renewable energy project developers. PURA initially allowed program participants to keep most of their project information secret. Details including winner’s names, the locations of their projects, and the amount they received were not disclosed to the public.
Responding to the Hartford Business Journal’s June 20 Freedom of Information Act request, PURA ordered the keepers of that data — electric utilities Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating — to disclose it publicly by July 31. PURA, however, also gave the individual winners the chance to request for protective orders to keep their information secret, as long as they did so by July 22.
Eight companies filed protective orders, but PURA has not yet ruled on those requests. Those seeking protection must prove under what legal section of the Freedom of Information Act that their information should not be disclosed to the public. Read more…