CT Legislature Approves Energy Bill

The Connecticut House of Representatives has passed an energy bill thatincludes provisions to expand the production of solar energy and otherforms of renewable energy. The House’s approval, by a vote of 81-40,follows state Senate approval, by a vote of 20-14, earlier this week.

However, the bill may not have enough votes to overcome a potential veto by Gov. M. Jodi Rell, R-Conn., the Hartford Courant reports. Rell’s aideshave recently expressed concerns about the bill and its potential impact on electric rates, while the bill’s sponsors, co-chairmen of thelegislature’s energy committee – Sen. John Fonfara, D-Hartford, and Rep. Vickie Nardello, D-Prospect – maintain that it will lower rates by 15%.

Under the legislation, the Public Utilities Control Authority would berenamed the Connecticut Energy and Technology Authority and would betasked with promoting the use of renewable energy, according to The CT Mirror.

Inaddition, the bill contains solar-specific provisions that are based onlegislation passed by the state’s House of Representatives in 2009, says advocacy group Environment Connecticut, whichsupports the bill.

Among other measures, the bill wouldinstitute a program to replace the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund’sdefunct rebate program for commercial solar installations. The programis expected to create 300 MW of solar deployed statewide, according toEnvironment Connecticut.