Personal Impact

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Solar Photovoltaics

Climate Change Indicator

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The number of solar installations throughout Connecticut increased in 2023.

Thousands of Connecticut homes and businesses now use the sun to generate much of their own electricity. Through December 2023, total installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity for systems generally under five megawatts (MW) of capacity exceeded 1,091 MWs at over 91,290 installations in the state.90 On January 1, 2022, the new Residential Renewable Energy Solutions (RRES) program replaced the previous net metering and Residential Solar Investment Program, administered by the Green Bank, for residential renewable energy projects. In 2023, 22,911 solar PV installations with a total capacity of 181.6 MW were deployed throughout Connecticut as part of the RRES Program.91 The RRES program offers residential solar installations the opportunity to sell the energy produced and the renewable energy certificates (RECs) at a fixed 20-year price by selecting one of two incentive rate structures (tariffs).

The primary advantage of solar PV technology is that it produces electricity with zero emissions – no air pollution, wastewater, or noise at the point of electric generation. The 1,090+ MW of installed PV capacity in the state in 2023 is calculated to produce more than 1.4 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity, which could potentially displace over 358,445 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions.92 The Independent System Operator for New England (ISO-NE) projects that a total of approximately 2,728 MW of solar PV capacity could be installed in Connecticut through 2033.*93

Public Act 22-14 expanded the Non-Residential Energy Solutions program (NRES) and the Shared Clean Energy Facility (SCEF) program. The law also increases the maximum size of individual projects under the programs; expands the programs’ total capacity; allows commercial and industrial customers in the NRES program to use their entire rooftops to site projects; and increases the proportion of SCEF projects that must benefit low-income customers.

An issue with land-based solar PV installations, primarily utility scale installations, is the impact such development has on farmland, forests, shrublands, and the species that inhabit these ecosystems. In 2023, solar proposals, submitted to the Connecticut Siting Council (CSC) for regulatory approval, that involved development on farmland totaled approximately 166 acres, while proposed development on woodlands totaled approximately 25 acres. This is significant since the preservation of forests, open space, and farmland are state policy priorities and important as a mitigation strategy to address climate change. 

Regulation of Certain Solar PV Systems

As a result of citizens’ concerns regarding the proliferation of land-based solar PV systems in Connecticut, the Council issued a special report in 2017, Energy Sprawl in Connecticut, that identified deficiencies in state policy regarding the selection and siting of land-based PV installations and recommendations to ensure prime farmland and core forest habitats were protected. In response to citizen concerns, Public Act 17-218 requires certain solar projects to acquire written confirmation, from the Departments of Agriculture and Energy and Environmental Protection, that the subject proposal would not “materially affect” the status of such land as prime farmland or core forest. It is calculated that on average, one MW of solar capacity can impact approximately 4.8 acres.

Certain provisions of Public Act 17-218 only apply to certain commercial solar PV proposals, such as projects with a proposed capacity greater than two MW that seek approval from the CSC by Petition for Declaratory Ruling. In 2023, there were 17 proposals for solar projects submitted to the CSC; eight of those projects were exempt from the provisions of Public Act 17-218. All but one of the exempt projects had a capacity less than two MWs.94

Energy Storage

To more efficiently manage electricity generated by intermittent renewable generation and to improve energy management and reliability, Public Act 21-53 requires the state to develop and implement one or more programs, and associated funding mechanisms, for electric energy storage resources connected to the electric distribution system. In 2022, Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) launched a statewide electricity storage program (Energy Storage Solutions) for all Eversource Energy and United Illuminating (UI) residential, commercial, and industrial customers. The nine-year program, administered by the Connecticut Green Bank along with Eversource and UI, will continue through at least December 31, 2030. In 2023, approximately 129.8 MWh of energy storage capacity was approved throughout Connecticut, with approximately 97 percent of the capacity serving the commercial and industrial sectors.95

Goal: Public Act 21-53 established three goals for the deployment of energy storage systems in Connecticut: 1) 300 MW by December 31, 2024; 2) 650 MW by December 31, 2027; and 3) 1,000 MW by December 31, 2030. 


Technical Note: Personal impact indicators illustrate trends in behavior or practices that can be expected to influence the condition of tomorrow’s air, water, land and wildlife. *Forecast values include Forward Capacity Market (FCM) Resources, non-FCM Energy Only Generators, and behind-the-meter PV resources. **Proposals for solar development that seek regulatory approval from local land use agencies are not included in the charts above.


90 ISO-New England, December 2023 Distributed Generation Survey Results, Distributed Generation Forecast Working Group, slide 5, February 16, 2024;

91 Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) Docket 22-08-02, Order No. 12 Compliance Filings for Eversource, January 12, 2024 and United Illuminating, January 16, 2024;

92 ISO-New England, 2022 ISO New England Electric Generator Air Emissions Report: Appendix, December 21, 2023; TABLE 3.1;

93  ISO-New England, Final 2023 Photovoltaic (PV) Forecast, slides 34 and 43, April 10, 2023;

94  Connecticut Siting Council, Decisions and Pending Matters;

95  Energy Storage Solutions Performance Report, slide 9 of 18, accessed 2-6-2024;