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Norwalk's Sen. Bob Duff Pushes Bill To Expand Solar Power

State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) is leading an effort to create a Shared Clean Energy pilot program.
State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) is leading an effort to create a Shared Clean Energy pilot program. Photo Credit: File Photo

NORWALK, Conn. -- State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk-Darien) is leading an effort to create a Shared Clean Energy pilot program.

Duff led a committee in passing legislation for the pilot program, which would establish a new way for renters and other families, schools and businesses to directly invest in their own dedicated supply of renewable energy for the first time, according to a press release. The program is included in renewable energy bill SB 353, which passed the General Assembly’s Committee on Energy and Technology, of which Senator Duff serves as Senate chairman.

Clean energy advocates applauded the approval of the renewable energy concept from the committee.

“Clean energy is a bright spot of growth in Connecticut’s economy, yet a majority of our residents simply cannot participate because their rooftops are not suitable for solar panels, or they are not able to install other kinds of renewable energy alternatives," said Duff. "By simply enabling more of Connecticut to invest in and receive the bill saving benefits of local renewable energy systems, the state can unleash tremendous economic activity without any new state subsidies."

Hannah Masterjohn, new markets program director at Vote Solar, praised the effort.

“Shared Clean Energy would make solar work for even more Connecticut homes and businesses. That means more local solar investment, more local solar jobs and healthier, more resilient communities," Masterjohn said. "We thank the Energy Committee for their leadership and urge their colleagues in the legislature to expand this commonsense policy this year so that more Connecticut customers can benefit from the program."

The bill calls for a limited pilot program that would allow consumers in two communities to subscribe to local, off-site renewable energy projects and receive a utility bill credit for their portion of the energy produced, according to the release. If passed, SB 353’s Shared Clean Energy program would "build on Connecticut’s proven solar energy success by broadening participation," according to the release.

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