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Is Battery Storage Set to Become the Norm for Solar Installations in CT?

The state of Connecticut is poised to become the 8th state in the US with an energy storage mandate. On May 20, 2021, the state senate passed a bill that sets the target of 1GW in energy storage for the state. The target is to be realized by the year 2030, and the state regulator, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), will begin proceedings early next year on implementing the mandate. 

Connecticut joins the elite club, which so far has seven states, with the foresight to secure their energy future with a storage program. These states include California, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Virginia, all of which have varying energy storage targets. The nutmeg state’s targets include two interim targets – 300MW by the end of 2024 and 650MW by the end of December 2027. 

The development comes close on the heels of Virginia setting itself a 3.1GW energy storage target. Although Connecticut’s target is smaller in comparison to Virginia, it’s still substantial for a relatively small state like CT.

The energy storage goal is primarily to store and use power from renewable sources like solar, wind, and hydro plants, which tend to have poor reliability in terms of uninterrupted power supply.

To realize its goals, the government intends to rope in every resource available at its disposal, including residential homeowners. The federal government is providing the necessary push too. The federal tax credit (ITC), which was previously available only to solar customers, is being made available to standalone energy storage buyers too, provided the bill is passed this year. In other words, even non-solar homeowners will be able to get cost savings of up to 20-25% on battery storage if the bill passes.

Interestingly, Connecticut already has a successful battery storage program, viz. ConnectedSolutions, allows homeowners to include their battery storage in their residential solar installations and enjoy the various incentives that apply to solar installations – tax credits, tax waivers, and so on. The new bill makes these benefits available to non-solar customers too.

Until now, many states like Connecticut have spearheaded their energy storage goals, and the federal government has lagged. Without a concerted national energy storage initiative, there’s only so much that states can do. Thankfully, that may be changing.

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