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Connecticut’s NRES Program Opens August 1st. Here’s How The Program Works and Steps To Get Started.

July 20, 2023 Daniel Murphy

Connecticut’s Non-Residential Renewable Energy Solutions (NRES) program will begin accepting applications for their August Solicitation on August 1st. Here is what you need to know.

Background

Connecticut’s NRES program offers incentives to lower the cost of purchasing energy from utilities. These incentives provide to those who use energy from non-residential solar or other renewable technologies in Connecticut.

Connecticut created NRES to replace the credit programs for Low and Zero Emission Renewable energy. Its main goal is to promote the organized growth of the state’s renewable energy industry. Additionally, it aims to involve customers from underserved and environmentally just communities.

The program started in 2021 and can choose 60 MW of clean energy annually for six years. The government approved the program in 2020.

How It works

There are two opportunities to submit an NRES bid, in February and August.

  • Any competitive bids for projects greater than 200 kW up to 5000 kW are accepted from August 1st, 2023 to September 14th, 2023.
  • Non-competitive bids for projects up to and including 200kW are accepted from August 1, 2023, through October 14, 2023.

The RFP process is determined by the size of the project.

  • Smaller Projects less than or equal to 200 kW receive tariff agreements on a first-come, first-served basis at a fixed price as determined by PURA.
  • Larger projects greater than 200 kW are awarded tariff agreements through a competitive solicitation process.

Netting & Buy-All

Connecticut offers two options of credit for non-residential solar projects for their energy and the environmental attributes of that renewable energy. The two options are Netting and Buy-All.

  • Netting: Similar to traditional net metering where you receive compensation at the retail rate of electricity which is variable. In addition to receiving that rate, you are required to select your own value for the environmental attributes from your system on a per MWh basis. This requires some strategy since you will only be accepted into the program if your project is selected and projects with the lowest amount of incentive will be selected first. This option is available for a 20-year term.
  • Buy-All: The mechanism is a fixed payment for all the energy your system produces and environmental attributes from the system at one fixed price for a 20-term. In this configuration, there is no onsite usage of the electricity your system produces.

Preferential Ranking

The lowest bids are chosen first, however, to incentivize various types of preferential siting for projects they will apply a factor (less than 1) to your bid price depending on the site of your project.

  • Landfill or Brownfield as outlined by CT DEEP – 20%
  • SAM projects in a distressed Municipality – 20%
  • The project has a portion of capacity on a solar carport or canopy – max 20% based on the portion of the project capacity that is on a solar carport or canopy.

Your bid preference percentage will subtract from 100% (a bid preference of 10% would mean you subtract 10% from 100% and then your bid factor will be 90%). If you are bidding on a REC price of 5 cents, then they will assess your bid as 4.5 cents.

Available Capacity for August Solicitation

Available Capacity for NRES 2023

How to Apply

  • General information (Customer Name, site address, etc.)
  • Evidence that the project has not received any CT incentive programs previously.
  • Historical load data to ensure no overbuilding of systems.
  • Site control
  • Deeds
  • written leases
  • options to lease
  • memorandums of lease
  • memorandums of option to lease
  • Contracts to purchase, or other agreements between the Project developer and Owner of the Project Site regarding the right to develop the Project.
  • Bid form
  • Bid Deposit
  • $25/kW performance assurance + Bid Fee of 300$

 

For questions about this program or other programs your project may qualify for, please reach out to our team at Empower Energies. We will walk you through all aspects of bidding in this program to maximize your chances of a successful bid into the program.