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DEEP seeks public comment on energy initiative

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection announced Thursday that it has launched a process aimed at gathering public comment on an initiative designed to bring cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable electric power to Connecticut’s families and businesses and to help address regional energy infrastructure challenges.

DEEP has issued a notice and opportunity for public comment on three separate proceedings to procure energy resources under Public Act 15-107, An Act Concerning Affordable and Reliable Energy.

The act authorizes DEEP to procure a broad range of resources,, including natural gas, energy efficiency, renewable energy, large-scale hydropower, and energy storage.

The Act authorizes selection of the most cost-effective energy resources through an open and competitive process.

Procurement of these resources is designed to address infrastructure challenges — which are especially severe during winter months — and contribute to higher energy prices, DEEP said in a news release.

A lack of natural gas pipeline infrastructure is threatening to cause blackouts on the New England electric grid, leading to increased natural gas prices for gas generators during winter months and causing us to rely on dirtier and more expensive coal and oil to generate power during winter months, DEEP said. 

As a result, the cost of electricity has skyrocketed in recent winters.

“Studies show that infrastructure to deliver natural gas to the region’s power plants could be a cost effective solution — but it is not necessarily the only solution," DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee said. "Clean energy resources and energy efficiency projects could also help meet our winter reliability challenges, while also cutting carbon pollution, growing jobs, and lowering energy bills for families and businesses right here in our state.”

Klee said the effort is attempting to build a "more prosperous and sustainable future" in Connecticut by addressing market shortcomings as "procuring the energy resources we need."

“We are looking for the best deals for Connecticut ratepayers by letting all resources compete to provide a solution — renewables, hydropower, efficiency, natural gas, LNG and even the cutting edge technology of energy storage,” he said

DEEP welcomes stakeholder participation and is accepting comments through Sept. 30. For information about the proceedings and how to comment, visit: http://www.dpuc.state.ct.us/DEEPEnergy.nsf/c6c6d525f7cdd1168525797d0047c5bf/67b2877d014a6f2a85257eb200467127/$FILE/Notice%20of%20proceedings%20and%20opportunity%20to%20comment%2008.31.15.pdf.

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