Connecticut Agency Cancels Gas RFP Citing Infrastructure Problems

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By Editors of Power Engineering

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has cancelled an RFP for new natural gas projects, citing ongoing problems with the natural gas distribution infrastructure.

DEEP indicated the inadequate gas infrastructure problem in the region is greater than one state can solve alone, and that regional investment is necessary to ensure that no one state disproportionately bears the cost of infrastructure improvements.

Additionally, the DEEP filing said the area is facing volatile energy prices and risks to electric reliability due to an increase in the number of gas-fired plants, but not in the natural gas delivery infrastructure needed to ensure the plants can run reliably year-round.

Though the RFP attracted seven proposals, administrative and court decisions reduced the ability for the costs of the projects to be shared among the ratepayers.

DEEP plans to monitor conditions in the New England market and the acts of other states to determine whether to reissue the gas RPF.

Meanwhile, DEEP has selected projects for a clean energy RFP initiated by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and these projects will now negotiate power purchase agreements with Eversource and United Illuminating.

These projects will be for large-scale hydropower and other renewable projects greater than 20 MW in size. Over 50 bids were submitted.

Another “small resources” clean energy RFP for projects between two MW and 20 MW in size, energy efficiency and energy storage, has attracted more than 100 bids. DEEP plans to select projects soon.

A final decision on the two clean-energy RFPs will be made in early 2017.

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