DEEP Previews Much Anticipated Comprehensive Energy Strategy
March 23, 5:30 – 8:30 PM, Courtyard Marriott, Cromwell
Click here for the CES Presentation
On March 23, 2017, the Connecticut Power and Energy Society (CPES) hosted Mary Sotos and Tracy Babbidge from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for an update on Connecticut’s latest Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES). Mary Sotos, former Policy Lead for the U.S. Energy Program at World Resources Institute, was recently appointed Deputy Commissioner for Energy at DEEP. Tracy Babbidge is Chief of the Bureau of Energy and Technology Policy.
The CES is an assessment of future energy needs in the state and strategies for reducing costs to ratepayers, ensuring reliable power system operations, and mitigating the public health and environmental impacts of Connecticut’s energy use. DEEP is required to prepare a CES every three years. Babbidge informed attendees that DEEP expects to release a draft of the next CES in April, followed by technical meetings, public hearings, and a 60-day written comment period. DEEP plans to submit the final CES to the General Assembly’s Energy and Technology Committee before the end of the legislation session in June. The major topics to be reviewed in the CES include securing cheaper, cleaner, more reliable energy options in the following sectors: (1) electricity, (2) buildings, and (3) transportation. On the subject of electricity, Babbidge explained that DEEP’s analysis centers on ways to strategically and cost-effectively advance the deployment of clean energy to meet Connecticut’s public policy goals, with a continued focus on competitive procurement models and program costs.
Babbidge also provided updates on several programs and initiatives advancing under DEEP’s leadership, including the three-state Clean Energy Request for Proposals (RFP), the small-scale RFP for energy efficiency and renewable resources, the Connecticut microgrid program, and the Lead By Example program. Through the three-state Clean Energy RFP, the soliciting parties in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island collectively selected projects that represent approximately 460 MW of clean energy for the New England market, Babbidge explained. These projects have advanced to the contract negotiation stage with the states’ electric distribution companies. Through the small-scale RFP for energy efficiency and renewable resources, DEEP selected 25 projects, including 402 MW of wind and solar projects and 34 MW of energy efficiency projects. These projects have advanced to the contract negotiation stage with Connecticut’s electric distribution companies. Through the Connecticut microgrid program, more than $20 million in grants have been awarded to microgrid projects in the state, with three projects becoming operational since 2014. Finally, the Lead By Example program, which enables energy-efficiency upgrades in Connecticut’s state and local government buildings, is contributing to significant cost savings and helping Connecticut become one of the most energy efficient states in the nation.