Zero emission renewable energy certification (ZREC) programs are just one of the many ways you can maximize the value of your solar energy investment. However, if your business is already taking advantage of Connecticut’s ZREC program, you’re probably wondering how the phasing out of net metering impacts your benefits. If you’re not yet part of the ZREC program, you’re probably wondering what it entails and how it can benefit your business. In this post, we’ll break down Connecticut’s ZREC program and explore its viability in the future.

What Is a ZREC?

Connecticut’s ZREC program compensates commercial solar energy system owners for supplemental electricity their systems generate and deliver to the power grid. A ZREC, then, is a credit owed based on how much additional energy a solar energy system produces. Owners are paid a fixed price for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar electricity they generate. A ZREC works similarly to net metering for households, but it’s intended for large scale commercial solar operations.

How to Qualify for the ZREC Program

To qualify, ZREC projects must be no larger than 1,000 kW. Projects must not produce any emissions while generating electricity, and they must be in Connecticut. Eligible projects are selected based on a lottery drawing. However, even if your project isn’t selected, you can still take advantage of other commercial solar incentives. Currently, three tiers of ZREC projects exist. They include:

  1. Large ZRECs: Projects ranging from 250 kW to 1,000 kW in size.
  2. Medium ZRECs: Projects less than 250 kW but greater than 100 kW.
  3. Small ZRECs: Projects smaller than 100 kW.

What About the Net Metering Phase-Out?

You’re likely already aware that net metering is in the process of being phased out in Connecticut. How does this phasing out affect Connecticut’s ZREC program? Fortunately, legislators voted to extend Connecticut’s ZREC program for another two years (Year 7 and Year 8) in 2018. That means all projects already awarded a ZREC contract can continue to receive benefits. However, the future of ZRECs in Connecticut remains uncertain after that period is up.

CT Solar Energy

While Connecticut’s solar energy market has undergone a number of changes in recent years, a variety of options are available to maximize your solar investment. If you’re ready to transition to solar energy, you need a team of experts to help you leverage your options and guarantee the success of your solar initiatives. No matter what your energy efficiency goals are, Verogy is here to help. We’ll work with you to design, deploy, and maintain a solar energy system that’s optimized for your facility, so you’re prepared for the challenges of tomorrow.