Now, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) plans to begin the RFP process, followed by an opportunity for public comment and the incorporation of the findings of the Commission of Environmental Standards.
The statute calls for the commission to suggest for inclusion in each RFP best practices on limiting environmental and fisheries impact.
Governor Lamont said:
By delivering zero carbon renewable energy, we can increase our region’s fuel security while also making significant progress toward meeting our climate goals. By adopting this new law, we are sending a clear message – Connecticut is serious about becoming a major player in the clean energy economy
Among its provisions, the legislation will:
- Authorize the state to purchase up to 2,000 MW (or equivalent to 30 percent of state load) - the largest authorization by load of any state in the region;
- Ensure swift action - DEEP must initiate a solicitation 14 days after passage;
- Require DEEP to set up a future schedule for procurements;
- Provide for robust competition and selection for best prices while achieving economic development benefits and minimizing environmental/fisheries impacts;
- Begin a process under which DEEP will work with the Department of Economic and Community Development to ensure selected proposals have positive impacts on the state’s economic development;
- Require contract commitments from selected bids that pay the prevailing wage and engage in good faith negotiation of a project labor agreement
- Commit the state and DEEP to develop a commission to develop best management practices for minimizing impacts to wildlife, natural resources, ecosystems, and commercial fishing during the construction and operation of facilities. Bidders will be required to develop mitigation plans that reflect these practices.
The approval of the legislation comes after a public-private partnership between the State of Connecticut, through the Connecticut Port Authority, terminal operator Gateway, and Bay State Wind, a joint venture between Ørsted and Eversource, that includes a plan to redevelop State Pier in New London into a state-of-the-art port facility.
The collaboration includes a total of $93 million investment to upgrade State Pier’s infrastructure and heavy-lift capability that will enable it to meet the facility requirements of the offshore wind industry and increasing the port’s capability to accommodate heavy-lift cargo.