June 12, 2013

Connecticut's Canadian Hydro Bill Becomes Law

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Wednesday signed Connecticut's new renewable portfolio standards into law, opening the door to large-scale hydro from Canada.

The bill expands the definition of renewable energy beyond wind, solar, and fuel cells, but still calls for 20 percent of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020.

Malloy and the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection developed the measure to keep electricity costs low while focusing on sources of power that emit few greenhouse gases. The bill also deals with problems with the current standards where 89 percent of Connecticut's renewable power is purchased from out of state and 87 percent comes from biomass plants and landfill gas.

The measure was highly contentious among environmental and clean business groups, but the legislation passed both chambers of the Connecticut General Assembly rather easily.

For hydro to be considered renewable in Connecticut, the state's electricity suppliers must prove they cannot get enough power from solar, wind, and fuel cells.

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