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CONNECTICUT CLEAN ENERGY FUND TO FINANCE STATE’S LARGEST-EVER SOLAR ENERGY PROJECT

Decision brings total number of solar installations funded to more than 100 for generating capacity

Rocky Hill, Conn., March 13, 2006 – The single largest solar photovoltaic (PV) project ever undertaken in the state will go forward as a result of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund’s (CCEF) recent approval to provide $1.7 million in funding for the project. The 433 kilowatt commercial solar photovoltaic system will be developed in eastern Connecticut on the site of the distribution center of a major national company. CCEF funded the project under its $21 million On-site Renewable Distributed Generation Program. The decision represents a milestone: CCEF has now supported development of more than 100 solar PV systems statewide, which have a total nameplate capacity exceeding one megawatt (1,000 kilowatts of electricity).

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund began funding solar energy projects in 2002 under a pilot program and, at end of 2003, created its first commercial solar program with initial funding of $3 million. The program was so popular among commercial, industrial, and institutional property owners that it was significantly expanded by additional funding of $9 million in early 2005. The Fund’s residential solar PV program also has been popular, and in January CCEF increased its funding by $3 million.

Chandler J. Howard, president and executive director of Connecticut Innovations, which administers the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, commented, “The CCEF is pleased to be able to play an active role in making clean energy systems such as solar PV more economically feasible for businesses and consumers. Increased use of these systems demonstrates that clean energy is here and working right now, and the power the systems provide serves as an important hedge against future rate increases.”

Lise Dondy, chief operating officer of the CCEF said “ that recent electric rate increases, public concerns about air quality and over-dependence on fossil fuels are expected to increase demand for solar PV systems. CCEF funding will help satisfy that growing demand.”

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) was created by the Connecticut General Assembly and is administered and managed by Connecticut Innovations, a quasi-public state organization. CCEF’s main goals are to create clean energy supply for Connecticut; develop clean energy technologies; and to educate residents about clean energy’s importance for the state’s energy future. CCEF’s funding comes from a surcharge on electric ratepayers’ utility bills.
Connecticut Innovations (CI) stimulates high-tech growth by investing in early-stage Connecticut technology companies. CI is a quasi-public organization whose mission is to strengthen Connecticut’s economy by accelerating the growth of a vibrant high-technology community. Since 1995, CI has been the state’s leading investor in high technology, investing more than $133 million in Connecticut technology companies.