Clean Water / Energy & Efficiency / Legislative / Press Releases

Funding announced for CT Clean Water Fund and microgrid projects

The State Bonding Commission announced funding for clean water and microgrid projects around the state totaling $485.1 million.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2015

Contact:
Sarah Ganong, (203) 787 0646 ext. 128

CFE: FUNDING MICROGRID PROJECTS IN BRIDGEPORT & MILFORD GREAT STEP IN GRID UPGRADE
Projects will protect vulnerable infrastructure, help state meet climate goals

New Haven, Conn.—Connecticut Fund for the Environment applauds today’s news of $5.1 million for two microgrid projects in the state. The two projects, located in Bridgeport at the University of Bridgeport and in Milford at the Parsons Government Center, will provide power to residents and emergency responders during outages and major storms. The Bridgeport project will be a 1.4 megawatt fuel cell and the Milford microgrid will be powered by two 148 kilowatt natural gas combined heat and power units, 120 kilowatts of photovoltaics, and a 100 kilowatt battery energy storage system.

“Funding for microgrid projects that ensure residents and important services have reliable electricity is just a start in transitioning to a modernized grid,” said Shannon Smyth, energy and climate attorney at CFE. “Clean distributed electricity generation, including microgrids, help us protect vulnerable people and infrastructure while also meeting climate goals and furthering renewable sources of energy in our state. These clean energy resources also increase resilience, lower energy transmission costs, and provide public health and environmental benefits. We’re excited to use these emergency-focused microgrids as a model for what communities and private parties around the state can do with day-to-day power generation.”

Funding for the project comes from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Microgrid Program, which is intended to increase public safety during electric grid outages caused by major storms, natural disasters, and other emergencies. The first round of grants in 2013 funded nine microgrid projects around the state.

 

SAVE THE SOUND APPLAUDS $480 MILLION FOR CLEAN WATER PROJECTS
Clean Water Funding will support wastewater projects, protect local waters and Long Island Sound

New Haven, Conn.—The State Bond Commission today approved $480 million for local improvement projects for wastewater treatment plants and sanitary sewer systems across Connecticut. Save the Sound, a bi-state program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment, applauds this investment in reducing pollution and long-term infrastructure improvements around the state.

“Clean Water Funds are essential to protect the public’s health and to restore Long Island Sound’s water quality. Today we are particularly glad to see this funding support a wide variety of important projects from every corner of the state,” said Leah Lopez Schmalz, director of legislative and legal affairs for Save the Sound. “From sewage treatment plant upgrades to engineering designs, green infrastructure to sea level rise preparedness, these historic levels of funding will support innovative solutions that will benefit our environment and keep our communities safe today and tomorrow.”

The Bond Commission authorized $110 million in General Obligation Bonds to provide grant money for projects and $370 million in Revenue Bonds to provide low-interest loans from a revolving fund. Some funded projects include:

  • Metropolitan District Commission’s Clean Water Project, the next stage in a 20-year modernization of the Greater Hartford area’s sanitary sewer system for improvements at the Hartford treatment plant, rehabilitation of sanitary sewers in the region, and design of an overflow tunnel for wastewater in rainstorms.
  • Phosphorous removal improvement at the Bristol Wastewater Treatment Plant, which will protect the Pequabuck River.
  • Upgrading old infrastructure and increasing nitrogen removal capacity at the Norwich Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • A variety of local initiatives including green infrastructure projects, sea level rise resiliency, and improvements to pump stations.

As the primary mechanism for funding wastewater treatment and sewer projects in Connecticut, Clean Water Funds are a backbone of the state’s infrastructure. The funds focus on two critical tasks: stopping over a billion gallons of raw sewage a year from flowing into rivers and Long Island Sound, and restoring the Sound’s low-oxygen “dead zone” that harms the environment and economy of Long Island Sound.

 

Save the Sound is a steering committee member of the Clean Water Investment Coalition, which advocates for consistent clean water funding to protect critical jobs, vibrant local industries, and a clean and sewage-free Long Island Sound. Coalition members include: American Council of Engineering Companies of Connecticut, Audubon Connecticut, Connecticut Audubon Society, Connecticut Commercial Lobstermen’s Association, Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, Connecticut Construction Industries Association, Connecticut Council of Small Towns, Connecticut Environmental and Utilities Contractors Association, Connecticut Marine Trades Association, Connecticut River Watershed Council, Connecticut State Building Trades Council, Connecticut Water Pollution Abatement Association, Connecticut Water Works Association, Environment Connecticut, Greater New Haven Water Pollution Control Authority, Housatonic Valley Association, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 478, Metropolitan District Commission, Rivers Alliance of Connecticut, Save the Sound—a bi-state program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment, The Nature Conservancy, The Sierra Club, and Southern New England Fishermen and Lobstermen Association.

 

Other bonding highlights can be found in this article by the Hartford Business Journal, including funds for a nature center and energy efficiency updates in buildings.

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