(a) As used in this section:
Terms Used In Connecticut General Statutes 16-243y
- Authority: means the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and "department" means the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. See Connecticut General Statutes 16-1
- Class I renewable energy source: means (A) electricity derived from (i) solar power, (ii) wind power, (iii) a fuel cell, (iv) geothermal, (v) landfill methane gas, anaerobic digestion or other biogas derived from biological sources, (vi) thermal electric direct energy conversion from a certified Class I renewable energy source, (vii) ocean thermal power, (viii) wave or tidal power, (ix) low emission advanced renewable energy conversion technologies, (x) a run-of-the-river hydropower facility that began operation after July 1, 2003, and has a generating capacity of not more than thirty megawatts, provided a facility that applies for certification under this clause after January 1, 2013, shall not be based on a new dam or a dam identified by the commissioner as a candidate for removal, and shall meet applicable state and federal requirements, including applicable site-specific standards for water quality and fish passage, or (xi) a biomass facility that uses sustainable biomass fuel and has an average emission rate of equal to or less than . See Connecticut General Statutes 16-1
- Consumer: means any private dwelling, boardinghouse, apartment, store, office building, institution, mechanical or manufacturing establishment or other place of business or industry to which water is supplied by a water company. See Connecticut General Statutes 16-1
- Energy storage system: means any commercially available technology that is capable of absorbing energy, storing it for a period of time and thereafter dispatching the energy, and that is capable of either: (A) Using mechanical, chemical or thermal processes to store electricity that is generated at one time for use at a later time. See Connecticut General Statutes 16-1
- Plant: includes all real estate, buildings, tracks, pipes, mains, poles, wires and other fixed or stationary construction and equipment, wherever located, used in the conduct of the business of the company. See Connecticut General Statutes 16-1
(1) “Municipality” has the same meaning as provided in section 7-233b;
(2) “Critical facility” means any hospital, police station, fire station, water treatment plant, sewage treatment plant, public shelter, correctional facility or production and transmission facility of a television or radio station, whether broadcast, cable or satellite, licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, any commercial area of a municipality, a municipal center, as identified by the chief elected official of any municipality, or any other facility or area identified by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection as critical;
(3) “Distributed energy generation” means the generation of electricity from a unit with a rating of not more than sixty-five megawatts on the premises of a retail end user within the transmission and distribution system;
(4) “Electric distribution company” and “participating municipal electric utility” have the same meanings as provided in section 16-1; and
(5) “Microgrid” means a group of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources within clearly defined electrical boundaries that acts as a single controllable entity with respect to the grid and that connects and disconnects from such grid to enable it to operate in both grid-connected or island mode.
(b) The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection shall establish a microgrid grant and loan pilot program to support local distributed energy generation for critical facilities. The department shall develop and issue a request for proposals from municipalities, electric distribution companies, participating municipal electric utilities, energy improvement districts and private entities seeking to develop microgrid distributed energy generation, or to repurpose existing distributed energy generation for use with microgrids, to support critical facilities. Any entity eligible to submit a proposal pursuant to this section may collaborate with any other such entity in submitting such proposal.
(c) The department shall award grants or loans under the microgrid grant and loan pilot program to any number of recipients. To the extent possible, the amount of loans and grants awarded under the program shall be evenly distributed between small, medium and large municipalities. Such grants and loans may provide: (1) Assistance to recipients for the cost of design, engineering services and interconnection infrastructure for any such microgrid, and (2) matching funds or low interest loans for an energy storage system or systems, as defined in section 16-1, or distributed energy generation projects first placed in service on or after July 1, 2016, provided such generation is derived from a Class I renewable energy source, as defined in section 16-1, or a Class III energy source, as defined in section 16-1, for any such microgrid. The department may establish any financing mechanism to provide or leverage additional funding to support the development of interconnection infrastructure, distributed energy generation and microgrids.
(d) Not later than January first, annually, for a period of five years after receiving a grant or loan under the microgrid grant and loan pilot program, the recipient of such grant or loan shall submit a report to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, the Office of Consumer Counsel and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and, in accordance with section 11-4a, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to appropriations and energy. Such report shall include information concerning the status of such recipient’s microgrid project.
(e) On or before January 1, 2013, the department shall file a report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, with the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy, identifying other funding sources necessary to expand the microgrid grant and loan pilot program established pursuant to this section and any legislative changes necessary to access such funding.
(f) The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, in consultation with the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, shall study the methods of providing reliable electric services to critical facilities, taking into consideration the location of such critical facilities. Such study shall evaluate the costs and benefits of such methods, including, but not limited to, the use of microgrids, undergrounding and portable turbine generation, and shall make recommendations identifying the most cost-effective and reliable of such methods. Not later than January 1, 2013, the department shall submit the findings of such study, in accordance with section 11-4a, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy and technology.