Buckbee, Harding Support Legislation Extending the Procurement of Class III Renewable Energy Sources

May 7, 2024

HARTFORD – The House of Representatives took favorable action on S.B. 385 An Act Concerning Energy Procurements on Monday evening. The legislation seeks to expand the state’s usage of certain renewable energy sources. Specifically, it extends a sunset clause for the purchase of Class III renewables for at least 5 more years. According to State Rep. Billy Buckbee (R-67) and State Sen. Stephen Harding (R-30), this will help New Milford’s Kimberly-Clark and other entities across that state that sell their energy sources to the grid. This includes the University of Connecticut, many area hospitals, and the state’s two casinos.

“I visited Kimberly-Clark in November of 2023 to tour their facility and learn more about their operations. Class III renewables are integral to the viability of the plant’s production and its procurement, as a source of energy, is essential to hardening our grid. Ensuring the state’s renewable portfolio standard remains diverse will continue to provide much-needed balance for our electric suppliers,” said Buckbee.

“As New Milford’s voices at the State Capitol, Rep. Buckbee and I are listening to job creators like Kimberly-Clark,” Sen. Harding said. “This bipartisan legislation will help Kimberly-Clark improve its operations and retain jobs while also moving us forward in creating common sense renewable energy policies. We will continue to work closely with Kimberly-Clark in the future and bring their concerns to our State Capitol colleagues.”

Current law requires that electric suppliers, to comply with standard service procurement, must obtain at least 5% of their total output from Class III sources. This law was going to sunset in December 2024. The newly crafted legislation pushes that deadline to December 2029.

“This is a big win for our community. Without its passage Kimberly-Clark, and other manufacturers of Class III renewable energy sources, may be forced to relocate as the cost to upgrade their energy production facilities would be catastrophic. This legislation secures careers and keeps a world-class manufacturer within our state’s borders,” said Buckbee.

In 2008, Kimberly-Clark installed its Combined Heat and Power (CHP) facility to ensure a reliable and cost-effective supply of electricity and steam. This on-site energy plant allows for a highly efficient production of tissue, which allows the plant to produce nearly one million cartons of Kleenex® Facial Tissue per day.

The legislation was passed by the House with a final vote tally of 146-3 and unanimously in the State Senate. It now heads to the Governor’s desk for his action.