The Connecticut House of Representatives has passed an energy bill that includes provisions to expand the production of solar energy and other forms of renewable energy. The House's approval, by a vote of 81-40, follows state Senate approval, by a vote of 20-14, earlier this week.
However, the bill may not have enough votes to overcome a potential veto by Gov. M. Jodi Rell, R-Conn., the Hartford Courant reports. Rell's aides have recently expressed concerns about the bill and its potential impact on electric rates, while the bill's sponsors, co-chairmen of the legislature's energy committee – Sen. John Fonfara, D-Hartford, and Rep. Vickie Nardello, D-Prospect – maintain that it will lower rates by 15%.
Under the legislation, the Public Utilities Control Authority would be renamed the Connecticut Energy and Technology Authority and would be tasked with promoting the use of renewable energy, according to The CT Mirror.
In addition, the bill contains solar-specific provisions that are based on legislation passed by the state's House of Representatives in 2009, says advocacy group Environment Connecticut, which supports the bill.
Among other measures, the bill would institute a program to replace the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund's defunct rebate program for commercial solar installations. The program is expected to create 300 MW of solar deployed statewide, according to Environment Connecticut.
SOURCES: Hartford Courant, CT Mirror, Environment Connecticut