The Clean Energy Revolution in Connecticut experienced a significant milestone recently when the town of Cornwall was recognized by the U.S. EPA as a “Green Power Community.” It is the first community in Connecticut to earn this distinction and only the second in the eastern United States.
As a reward, Cornwall received a bonus kilowatt of solar PV from the CCEF, which was installed with the 8 kW it had earned previously by virtue of being the first town to reach 30 percent household participation in the CTCleanEnergyOptions program.
The EPA’s program requires a town to first register as a Green Power Partner and purchase or use a percentage of clean energy based on the annual electricity usage by its facilities. In addition to Cornwall, East Hampton, Glastonbury, Hartford and New Haven are Connecticut municipalities that are Green Power Partners.
Next, the community must achieve a percentage of clean energy based on the annual electricity usage within the community boundary (city limits). This includes not only the municipal government and households but also businesses and institutions located within the community.
To make things even more interesting (or confusing), the EPA only recognizes “new” renewable energy resources (i.e., installed after 1/1/1997.) Thus, the portions of small hydropower offered by Community Energy and Sterling Planet through their respective CTCleanEnergyOptions products do not count towards the program threshold (but all of the wind portions do count.)
The commitment can be met through a combination of green power, RECs or on-site generation.
The CCEF salutes Cornwall for its tremendous leadership and commitment to clean energy. We now challenge other Clean Energy Communities to go deeper, get greener and earn a little extra solar power.
Director, Energy Market Initiatives