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Connecticut Announces 20-Year Deals With Two Solar Projects

Connecticut selected two 5-megawatt solar projects to sell electricity for 20 years to Northeast Utilities and UIL Holdings Corp. at a price the state’s governor said was among the lowest in the country.

The average cost of electricity from projects that will be built in the cities of East Lyme and Somers will be 22.2 cents a kilowatt-hour, the state’s Department of Energy & Environmental Protection said today in a statement.

“We believe the installed costs of these two solar projects are among the lowest offered by any comparable solar projects in the nation,” Governor Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, said in the statement.

Smaller solar projects in Connecticut producing as much as 250 kilowatts sell power for about 40 cents a kilowatt-hour and electricity from nuclear and fossil fuel-powered plants goes for about 8 cents a kilowatt-hour, according to DEEP data.

The agency asked developers to submit proposals for as much as 10 megawatts of renewable-energy plants and evaluated 21 projects that totaled 70 megawatts. It considered only technologies that don’t emit carbon dioxide such as solar, wind, tidal and low-impact hydropower.

A state energy bill passed last year authorized the development of 30 megawatts of renewable-energy projects.

Northeast Utilities and United Illuminating will submit proposals next year to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to develop the remaining 20 megawatts of capacity, Tracy Babbidge, the energy department’s bureau chief of energy and technology policy, said in a telephone interview.

The energy bill “really captured the attention of private developers,” she said. “We encouraged a lot of competition.”

Heliosage Energy LLC is developing the Somers project and GRE 214 East Lyme LLC is developing the facility in East Lyme.

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