On Earth Day, April 22, the Connecticut Legislative Review Committee approved proposed regulations that will allow for the siting of wind turbines in the state. The new regulations would end what has effectively been a three-year moratorium on new wind power projects in Connecticut.
In 2011, the Connecticut General Assembly passed Public Act No. 11-245, An Act Requiring the Adoption of Regulations for the Siting of Wind Projects (the "Act"). The Act directed the Connecticut Siting Council (the "Siting Council"), the state entity with jurisdiction over the siting of power and telecommunications facilities, to adopt regulations for the siting of wind turbines on or before July 1, 2012. The Act further stated that no wind turbine could be sited before the new regulations were adopted. The Siting Council has been working since that time to promulgate regulations and has had multiple versions rejected by the Legislative Review Committee before this latest version was approved.
The wind regulations will become effective when they are filed with the secretary of state. To access the wind legislation, please see here.
Of note, the wind regulations were promulgated nearly four months after the deadline for wind projects to take certain actions constituting the commencement of construction in order to qualify for the Federal Production Tax Credit. Without a change in that deadline, the new Connecticut regulations may be of limited use to new projects in the state that would not be economic without that tax credit.
Summary of New Siting Regulations
The new wind regulations inform wind turbine applicants and petitioners of the information required to be submitted in applications for Certificates of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need and petitions for declaratory rulings for wind turbine facilities. The regulations would require that the Siting Council hold a public hearing for any proposed wind turbine facility or modification to an existing facility, to evaluate its compliance with these regulations.
Each report would also include potential mitigation measures to minimize the impact of the risk evaluated.The changes created by these much-anticipated regulations may impact your company. For further information about the new wind regulations, please contact any of the attorneys listed above.
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