Another One Bites the Dust – Connecticut Chooses Renewables over Pipelines

renewables
Ryan Pollin, ERS, for Zondits

The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection has canceled its procurement of natural gas pipeline resources. As a result, Spectra Energy’s Access Northeast project, spanning parts of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, is now virtually guaranteed not to proceed. Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled it unconstitutional to make electricity ratepayers fund the Massachusetts part of the project, in turn leading to Massachusetts utilities backing out. Soon after, New Hampshire and Rhode Island bodies stayed the project as well.

Concurrently, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island together announced the selection of 460 MW worth of solar and wind projects to benefit the states. The specifics of the contracts will be negotiated this winter. The winning projects included solar projects cited in CT, ME, NH, and RI and wind projects located in NH and NY. Notably excluded from the announcement following the state’s Clean Energy Request for Proposals was the Northern Pass transmission line project, which routes additional power from Hydro-Quebec. Dan Dolan, the president of the New England Power Generators Association, stated, “They weren’t cheap enough and weren’t selected.” Eversource Energy, the developer of that project, has decided to refocus on an upcoming Massachusetts RFP for 9.45 GWh of clean energy resources.

The renewables announcement in conjunction with the end of line for still more New England pipelines paints a bright picture for the future of New England’s energy supply.

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