CT regulators approve energy storage incentive program

home battery
Residential battery system. Credit: LG Chem.

Residential customers eligible for incentives of up to $7500 with C&I eligible for up to 50% of project cost

Last week, Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) issued a final decision as part of its Equitable Modern Grid initiative that establishes a nine-year, statewide Electric Storage Program for all residential, commercial, and industrial customers in an effort to foster a more reliable and resilient electric distribution system.

The ruling establishes program elements including both upfront and annual performance-based incentive structures to reduce the cost of buying and installing a storage system for customers of Eversource and United Illuminating (UI).

Average upfront incentives for residential customers will initially be around $250 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), with a maximum per project incentive of $7,500. Commercial and industrial customers will also be eligible for upfront incentives, with a maximum incentive of 50% of the project cost. Residential, commercial, and industrial customers will all be eligible for performance incentive payments based on the average power an electric storage project contributes to the grid during critical periods.

Additional incentives will be available for those who would most benefit from additional resilience measures, such as low-income customers, customers in underserved communities, small businesses, and customers who historically experience the most frequent and longest duration storm-related outages.

The Electric Storage Program will be administered by the Connecticut Green Bank, the administrator of the current Residential Solar Investment Program, along with Eversource and UI. The Connecticut Green Bank, Eversource, and UI will implement the final version of the nine-year program starting January 1, 2022, and continuing through at least December 31, 2030.

Development of the Electric Storage Program was informed by objectives outlined in Public Act (PA) 21-53, which established a statewide goal of deploying 1,000MW of energy storage by year-end 2030. Governor Ned Lamont signed the legislation into law in June, making Connecticut the eighth U.S. state to issue an energy storage deployment target.

“Public Act 21-53 put Connecticut on the map as a potential leader in realizing the benefits of energy storage. Today’s decision builds on that vision by establishing a statewide comprehensive program that not only incorporates different applications and types of electric storage, but ensures the state is on a path to achieving 1,000 MW by 2030,” said PURA Chairman Marissa P. Gillett. “I want to thank the Legislature and Governor Lamont for their leadership and recognition of the vital role storage will play in a truly equitable, decentralized, decarbonized, and modernized grid.”

Related:

Today’s final decision and the Authority’s recent announcement of a nine-year Electric Vehicle Charging Program — among other progress made in the Equitable Modern Grid initiative — also address Connecticut’s long-term greenhouse gas reduction targets set in PA 18-82, An Act Concerning Climate Change Planning and Resiliency, which requires a 45% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

PURA’s Equitable Modern Grid Initiative

In October 2019, PURA approved a plan to equitably modernize the electric grid, specifying a series of reopened proceedings to further investigate 11 near-term topics. Those near-term topics include energy affordability, advanced metering infrastructure, electric storage, zero emissions vehicles, innovation pilots, and interconnection standards. Significant progress has been made in each proceeding. In addition to today’s decision and the announcement of the recent Electric Vehicle Charging Program, PURA has completed four 100-day sprints focused on removing barriers to energy affordability, established working groups to improve interconnection guidelines and technical criteria, and ordered the establishment of new rate structures to support Connecticut’s small businesses, among other milestones.

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Jennifer Runyon is a Content Director at Clarion Energy, writing, editing and posting content on POWERGRID International and planning conference sessions for DISTRIBUTECH's live and virtual events. She as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH International. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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