Connecticut solar incentive

How Connecticut’s updated solar incentive program can benefit my business

Earlier this year, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) approved updates to the Non-Residential Renewable Energy Solutions (NRES) program, a statewide, six-year solar program that supports Connecticut’s goal of carbon-free electricity by 2040.

Launched in 2022 and administered by Eversource and The United Illuminating Company (collectively, electric distribution companies or EDCs), NRES offers generous solar incentives for Connecticut businesses and property owners to transition to low cost, renewable energy. In year one, NRES proved to be an effective way for businesses to save money on electric bills, stabilize their electricity rates, and add a new source of revenue. The program updates make participating in NRES easier and even more lucrative.

This article provides an overview of how the program works with the relevant updates. Keep in mind that time is running out to be a part of the next round of incentives. 

How the NRES Program Works

New for 2023, Connecticut businesses that are interested in transitioning to renewable energy submit applications for their solar projects during two annual application periods: one begins in February, the other begins in August. (Previously, there had been only one application period). Approved projects are eligible to sell energy and renewable energy certificates (RECs) to the EDCs for a 20-year term under one of two tariff rate structures: Buy-All or Netting. 

Under the Buy-All tariff, the utility purchases all the electricity from the solar project at a fixed 20-year rate which is approved by PURA. 

  • Compensation is made as an on-bill credit, or quarterly or annual cash payment. Clarified for 2023, the beneficiary of the cash payment may be the customer of record or a third party. (Previously, the payment had to be directed to a third party). 
  • Any on-bill credits not used to offset the monthly bill can be cashed out at the end of the 20-year term.
  • New for 2023, oversizing rooftop systems to utilize the entire roof is allowed with the Buy-All tariff. (Previously, rooftop systems had to be sized to the energy demands of the building). Oversizing of netting projects or hybrid projects is not allowed.  

Under the Netting tariff, the electricity generated from the solar project is used to offset the site’s energy consumption; monthly excess generation from the system is sent to the grid and receives net metering credits on the electric bill at the full kWh retail value, which can offset future energy costs. 

  • The project receives a quarterly payment from the utility for RECs at a fixed rate for 20 years. The payment may be to the customer of record or a third party. 
  • Net metering credits are carried forward each month, or cashed out when the electric service is stopped.

New for 2023, the project size categories for medium and large projects have been expanded, and the application cycle for small projects has been aligned more closely with the medium and large project categories. Applications for small zero emissions projects (< 200kW AC) are accepted from February to May 1 and from August until October 15, and are processed and awarded incentive agreements on a first come, first served basis. (As a sizing reference, an approximately 30,000 square foot open, flat roof is needed for a 200kW AC solar installation). Medium zero emissions projects (>200kW AC and < 1000kW AC) and large zero emissions projects (>1000kW AC and < 5000kW AC) are awarded incentive agreements through a competitive bid process during two annual, six-week bid periods: the first one opens in February; the second one opens in August. 

CategoryProject Size (AC)Project Selection ProcessApplications Accepted

Small Zero Emissions Projects

< 200 kW

First-come, first-served

From February to May 1, and from August until October 15

Medium Zero Emissions Projects

> 200 kW and < 1000 kW

Competitive Solicitation

Two six week periods: the first one opens in February; the second one opens in August. 

Large Zero Emissions Projects

> 1000 kW and < 5000 kW

Competitive Solicitation

Two six week periods: the first one opens in February; the second one opens in August. 

Multiple Projects on One Site

New for 2023, one bid may be submitted per revenue meter rather than per project site. This change allows multiple tenants at a commercial complex to benefit from NRES. 

Priority Projects

  • Prioritization for solar canopy and/or carport projects is new for 2023. Hybrid projects, consisting of rooftop solar and solar canopy/carport projects are eligible for partial prioritization based on the solar canopy/carport capacity relative to the total system capacity. 
  • New for 2023, a project is eligible for prioritization if all of the project’s beneficial accounts are located in distressed municipalities. The project itself does not have to be sited in the distressed municipality to be eligible. 
  • Projects built on landfills or brownfields are prioritized. 

Applications for three types of projects are prioritized: solar canopy and/or carport, distressed municipalities, and landfills or brownfields. 

Exciting Changes in Federal Incentives

Recent developments in federal incentives make the economics of going solar even better! With the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022, the investment tax credit (ITC) increased to 30%. Plus, the potential to stack bonus credits onto that base rate means certain projects could be eligible for a total federal tax credit of 40%, 50%, or more! Learn more about the changes to the federal incentives by reading Quick look at how the new federal solar incentives can help your business

Go Solar!

The updated NRES program presents a compelling financial opportunity for Connecticut businesses and property owners to go solar, especially when combined with the generous federal incentives. 

To learn more about solar for your business or to schedule a no obligation consultation with Solect Energy, click here or you can contact us by email,