Connecticut has taken a significant stride in its commitment to achieving a zero-carbon electric grid by 2040 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 compared to 2001 levels. The state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) recently launched two Requests for Proposals (RFPs) aimed at soliciting grid-scale, zero-carbon electricity resources.
One of these RFPs is geared toward harnessing up to 2 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity, a crucial component of Connecticut's broader collaboration with neighboring states in New England. This regional initiative, which involves Massachusetts and Rhode Island, aims to open solicitations for a combined total of up to 6.8 GW of offshore wind capacity through individual state procurement processes. The RFP for offshore wind projects in Connecticut introduces an innovative indexed pricing option, enabling bidders to submit proposals at either a fixed rate or an indexed rate tied to the prevailing economic conditions, a provision designed to accommodate potential adjustments.
The second RFP focuses on sourcing electricity from renewable sources, including solar, onshore wind, geothermal, run-of-river hydropower, and energy storage that is paired and co-located with zero-carbon resources. Fuel cell projects and energy efficiency initiatives will also be considered under this category. This zero-carbon round of solicitations aspires to provide approximately 15% of the state's electricity demand, equating to 3,975 gigawatt-hours (GWh), with green power sources.
Interested participants in both RFPs have until January 31, 2024, to submit their bids. Successful bidders will secure contracts with Connecticut's electric distribution companies, marking a significant step towards the state's ambitious clean energy goals.
Connecticut's commitment to bolstering grid reliability is also evident in its upcoming solicitation for energy storage capacity. The state plans to release a draft version of this plan for public input later this year, with the overarching goal of having 1,000 megawatts (MW) of energy storage facilities operational by the close of the decade. This multifaceted approach underscores Connecticut's dedication to a sustainable and resilient energy future.