Supporting Bridgeport’s BGreen 2020 Initiative
In 2014, our attorneys were involved with two key projects that are part of “BGreen 2020,” a plan to improve the environmental quality and livability of Bridgeport’s parks, waterways and streets and to promote Bridgeport as a location for the development of green industries and green employment.
Advancing a Green Energy Park from Concept to Development
For the past several years, the City of Bridgeport has been developing its Eco-Industrial Park, a renewable energy park that will consist of a commercial scale solar energy facility built on top of a former landfill and a fuel cell facility built next to the landfill. To accomplish the development of the park, Bridgeport has been working with United Illuminating in a public-private partnership for more than two years. The total electricity produced by the combined projects will be enough to power more than 3,000 homes.
The project faced fierce opposition from various factions and during the Connecticut Siting Council approval process, the firm’s energy attorneys assisted the city in responding to this opposition, and ultimately in getting the project approved. The project is now on track to begin construction in Spring 2015, and was praised by Senator Richard Blumenthal as a model to which the rest of the country should aspire. The project is only the third of its kind to be approved in Connecticut, and shows the depth of experience possessed by all the members of our regulatory and energy team in the realm of renewable energy.
Improving the City’s Emergency Preparedness
After Connecticut was slammed with three catastrophic storms in a two-year period, the state passed legislation which allowed the formation of “microgrids” for the purpose of ensuring uninterrupted power to critical infrastructure and emergency shelters within municipalities. One of the first cities to apply for funding under the new program was Bridgeport, which turned to Pullman & Comley to assist it with the implementation of its microgrid.
The city is installing two natural gas combined heat and power plants that will supply electricity and heat to the town hall, police station and the senior center. In addition to the power plants, the city is also replacing a backup generator at the police station with a state-of-the-art generator. As the project progresses, there is also a possibility of adding more buildings to take advantage of the program.
We negotiated the construction contract and power purchase agreement for this project as part of our continued work on energy projects in Bridgeport, including representing the city before the Siting Council on United Illuminating’s siting of fuel cells and solar panels at the city’s landfill and the city’s placement of solar panels on municipal buildings.