ZREC & The Return of Connecticut’s Commercial Solar Market


For companies seeking to go solar, Connecticut is once again looking like the place to be. The future name could be “Solar Connecticut.” Connecticut was an early leader in the solar photovoltaic market, but after the state’s previous solar rebate program ran its course, the projected level of economic returns for businesses seeking to pursue solar diminished greatly, resulting in very few commercial solar installations.This all changed in July 2011 when the Governor signed Public Act No. 11-80 which, among other things, provides for the establishment of the Zero Emissions Renewable Energy Credit Program (the “ZREC Program”). A “ZREC” represents the environmental attributes derived from each megawatt hour of electricity produced by a zero-emission form of generation (i.e. solar); they are essentially equivalent to the “SRECs” that feature prominently in other state solar programs like NJ and MA.Although the fine print of the ZREC Program has yet to be released publicly, the broad strokes are clear: Solar System owners will have the opportunity to enter into long-term 15-year ZREC contracts with Connecticut Light & Power (“CL&P”) and United Illuminating (“UI”). These contracts will be offered via a standard auction process, with successful bidders receiving a fixed ZREC price for the 15 year duration.

Commercial Solar Panels in Solar Connecticut

So what does this mean for a Connecticut business owners with an interest in solar? The key takeaway is that the ZREC Program will offer solar system owners the opportunity to lock-in an attractive and fixed long-term incremental revenue stream associated with their solar production, in addition to the savings on their electric bill. Along with all this, key federal solar incentives provide even more benefits that serve to dramatically lower the upfront cost of solar. Solar panel cost is more attractive and feasible.Perhaps even better, the strong level of incentives allows PowerFlex to provide a range of financing alternatives to commercial customers in Connecticut, including Solar Leases and Power Purchase Agreements (“PPA’s”), which enable businesses to go solar with NO upfront capital cost or investment.For Connecticut businesses, the potential economics of a commercial solar photovoltaic project are outstanding – please contact us to learn more about the benefits of Solar for Business.