Connecticut Sets an Energy Storage Target to Help Achieve 100% Clean Energy by 2040

Morgan Lewis - Power & Pipes

Morgan Lewis - Power & Pipes

On June 16, Connecticut joined seven other states—California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Oregon, and Virginia—in adopting an energy storage deployment goal as a strategy to address climate change. In furtherance of Connecticut’s move toward 100% carbon-free power by 2040, Governor Ned Lamont enacted Public Act No. 21-53, which establishes a goal to deploy one gigawatt (GW) of energy storage by 2030. The act also sets interim targets of deploying 300 megawatts (MW) of storage by the end of 2024 and 650 MW by the end of 2027.

The act directs the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to develop programs and rate designs to encourage energy storage technologies that provide multiple types of benefits to the electric grid and offer net value to customers paying for the storage systems. In combination with any PURA programs, the act authorizes the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to pursue procurement of cost-effective energy storage projects to meet the statewide targets. The selection process outlined in the act requires DEEP to consider numerous factors in evaluating bids, including distribution system reliability benefits.

The PURA is already considering a robust customer incentive program to bring 580 MW of additional energy storage capacity to Connecticut by 2030. The PURA released its Notice of Issuance of Straw Electric Storage Program Design and Request for Comments (Straw Proposal) on January 5, 2021, in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias, which left more than 800,000 electric customers without power. The Straw Proposal includes a targeted incentive structure designed to prioritize delivering increased resilience to low- to moderate-income and other vulnerable customers, overcome barriers to customer adoption of energy storage, and reduce emissions from fossil fuel generation. Electric storage systems participating in the program would be compensated through an upfront incentive up to $7,500 and an ongoing performance incentive of $225 per summer event during which stored energy is dispatched. A variety of stakeholders, including electric utilities, private developers, and consumer advocates, submitted comments on the Straw Proposal and participated in a technical meeting and two hearings held in the first quarter of 2021.

Deployment targets and mandates for energy storage continue to emerge across the country. The current state goals are summarized on our energy storage tracker. Please follow our blog for the latest developments on actions states are taking to deploy energy storage within their borders.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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