Connecticut Agencies to Purchase 100% Renewable Energy by 2050
Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland signed Executive Order 32 on April 22 that commits state agencies to increase their purchases of electricity generated from renewable energy resources in stages. The first stage comes in 2010, when they will obtain 20% of their electricity from renewable energy. The second target is to obtain half of their electricity from renewable energy resources by 2020. In 2050 the goal is 100% from renewable energy. Connecticut thus becomes the first state in the nation to commit to obtaining all of its electricity from renewable energy resources. See Governor Rowland's Executive Order 32.
State agencies will purchase renewable energy certificates. These certificates became available commercially in 2003 under the New England Power Pool as a way for Connecticut Power Companies to meet the state's renewable portfolio standard. The standard went into effect in January 2004 and requires that 7% of all electric power sold in the state come from renewable energy resources by 2010. For background, see the EERE news story, "Connecticut Begins Trading Renewable Energy Certificates."
State agencies will pay the premium for the certificates using savings from energy efficiency projects. Under the Shared Savings Plan that Governor Rowland adopted in March 2004, state agencies are allowed to keep a percentage of the savings on their utility bills in their respective budgets. This savings plan was part of a series of recommendations the state adopted from the Governor's Steering Committee on Climate Change (PDF 44 KB).
With Executive Order 32 now in place, the State becomes the first public body in Connecticut to adopt targets for renewable energy purchases. SmartPower in Hartford, Connecticut, is working with Connecticut towns, businesses, and nonprofits to get them to make similar commitments of 20% from renewable energy by 2010. SmartPower is a nonprofit organization that was founded with some support from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. See SmartPower's press release on Executive Order 32.
The executive order also represents the largest single purchase of renewable energy in New England, and it places Connecticut at the forefront of New England states with targets for renewable energy. For more information on the purchase, see Governor Rowland's April 22 press release.