Helping Bridgeport become a recognized leader in renewable energy

June 6, 2017

Legislation that will pave the way for Bridgeport to become a national model for the reuse of waste heat passed out of the House of Representatives Tuesday in a 100-51 vote.

House Bill 6304 which is vehemently supported by the Bridgeport delegation, and state Reps. Lonnie Reed (D-Branford), Joe Gresko (D-Stamford) and Laura Hoydick (R-Stratford) seeks to establish a pilot program in the city to test-drive thermal district heating technology.

This pilot program will allow the city to build a Combined Heat and Power Plant that will support the Bridgeport Heating District. Through this, thermal energy will be generated through a combined heat and power generator unit. The heat that is dispelled will be sent through pipes to heat Bridgeport city buildings.

“What we are doing here today is continuing to make a small but significant investment in the state’s largest city. This is a $90 million investment overall that is being made not only by state taxpayers, but private industries to provide more reliable and cheaper heat,” said state Rep. Steve Stafstrom. “This will allow Bridgeport to continue the progress it has made over the last 10 to 15 years to revitalize its downtown, bring jobs and residents back to the city and be the economic driver that we know we can and should be for Connecticut.”

Bridgeport was selected for the pilot program because of the city’s push to create more renewable energy locally, and its objective to improve its air quality and decarbonize the atmosphere.

Two legislative sessions ago, the state set aside $9 million to help fund the pilot program. This program stands to benefit not only city taxpayers but residents statewide.

This cutting edge technology is the most cost-effective way to heat cities while minimizing environmental impact. Through district heating, the use of natural gas or oil by customers will result in a nearly 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

This pilot program will not only allow employees to learn a new skill, but it will increase job growth in Bridgeport. The economic impact for the project’s initial phase is approximately $50 million from construction and full-time jobs. The city is also slated to receive associated tax revenues from the project.

HB 6304 now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Press Release: House Bill 6304 will allow Bridgeport to become leader in renewable energy