Solar energy advocates applauded the General Assembly’s Energy & Technology Committee approval of Senate Bill 336, which will establish Connecticut’s first statewide community solar program. This legislation will enable equitable access to solar energy for Connecticut residents and business and will bring additional clean energy jobs and investments to the state.
"Authorizing a statewide shared solar program will help Connecticut meet its climate mandates, enhance resiliency, and spur private investment to create green jobs," Connecticut Fund for the Environment Climate and Energy Attorney, Claire Coleman, stated. "We are pleased that the leadership and members of the Energy and Technology Committee overwhelmingly supported SB 336 and expanding access to clean energy for businesses, condo and apartment dwellers, working families, and environmental justice communities. A shared solar program will finally put Connecticut on the clean energy map, allowing us to compete with other states.”
"This bill would boost Connecticut's clean energy economy - employing more than 2,500 local workers during project development, bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment into our communities and expanding access to electric bill savings through solar to all Connecticut citizens," said Sean Garren, Northeast Senior Director at Vote Solar. "At a time when electric utilities are fighting to take away Connecticut customers' choice to go solar, SB 336 is a beacon of light for those that believe in clean energy and customer choice."
“Senate Bill 336 is the robust community solar program that Connecticut needs now,” said Jeff Cramer, Executive Director of the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA). “SB 336 will finally allow the vast majority of homeowners and businesses to participate directly in the clean energy economy. We are grateful to the leaders and members of the Energy & Technology Committee for their work on this bill, and we look forward to a full vote in the General Assembly in the coming weeks.”
“This is a huge step in the right direction for a state that has yet to seize its full solar potential,” said Sean Gallagher, Vice President of State Affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association. “SB 336 will expand solar access and the economic and environmental benefits that clean power provides to communities across the Constitution State. We urge the General Assembly to enact this bill as soon as possible.”
About SB 336:
- Calls for a new 300 megawatt community solar program, enough to power over 45,000 homes with local clean energy.
- To attract new jobs and investment and allow the program to ramp up quickly, the program will initially rely on the current retail rate crediting structure used for rooftop solar, and then transition to a value-based credit structure that will reduce costs for the long term.
- The bill has a special focus on low- and moderate-income customers by setting a goal for their participation at no less than 20 percent - which, if passed into law, would be one of the more robust low-income community solar programs in the nation. It proposes that the Connecticut Green Bank and other state agencies work together to develop the necessary programmatic support needed to ensure successful community solar adoption by low-income customers.
- The bill also expands solar access to small businesses customers, many of which do not own their roofs.
“Nearly three out of four Connecticut residents currently don’t qualify for traditional rooftop solar. Senate Bill 336 will level the playing field by allowing the majority of homeowners, renters, schools, municipalities, and businesses the ability to go solar and save money on their electric bill,” Cramer added. “CCSA member companies stand ready to make significant investments and grow jobs in Connecticut, so we urge the General Assembly to take action and implement a statewide community solar program as quickly as possible.”