Connecticut Solar ZREC Market Ready to Launch


After the successful launch of the Connecticut Zero-Emission Renewable Energy Credit (“ZREC”) solar incentive program last year, CL&P and United Illuminating (“UI”) are scheduled to begin the 2013 ZREC Auction process next week.

For Connecticut businesses interested in exploring the financial feasibility of “going solar”, the ZREC solar incentives can provide a critical cash flow supplement to a solar project’s economic profile. Whether a business is interested in owning a solar system, or leasing one, or entering into a third-party Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”) arrangement whereby the business has no capital outlay at all (but saves money immediately), the ZREC incentive is the key economic driver.

By way of background, a “ZREC” represents the environmental attributes derived from each megawatt-hour (“MWh”) of electricity produced by a zero-emission form of generation such as solar photovoltaics (for more background info, please see prior blog). The ZREC Program provides solar system owners with a 15-year contractual revenue source which pays them a fixed price for every kilowatt-hour (“kWh”) of solar electricity generated, in addition to the savings on their electric bill. The ZREC cash payments and the monthly electricity bill savings are further compounded by substantial Federal solar incentives that can dramatically lower the upfront cost of commercial solar projects.Under the CT ZREC program, potential solar projects “bid” in their desired ZREC incentive levels during the once-a-year ZREC Auction. CL&P and UI then allocate their $8 million of annual ZREC funding based on the lowest price ZREC bids received for eligible projects.

Last year, PowerFlex garnered attractive ZREC awards for 9 individual CT solar projects, and we are in the process of building these projects for our client partners. The solar system we installed for MDI was one of the first ZREC projects completed in the state (see Case Study).Please contact us to learn more about how your business can take advantage of this highly attractive CT solar incentive – but don’t wait too long; the 2013 ZREC Auction window is expected to open next week and will be closed by late May or early June. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!