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6/22/2015 - Bridgeport receives additional national recognition for green energy initiatives

“Bridgeport truly has become a national leader in green energy, and we continue to lead the way with innovative projects that create energy and cleaner air for our kids to breathe. It’s good for the economy, creates jobs and is good for the environment.” – Mayor Bill Finch

Bridgeport, Conn. (June 19, 2015) – Bridgeport continues to get national recognition as a leader in green energy production.

The latest report, titled “Fuel Cells Offer Cities an Alternative to the Grid,” was published Friday in Marketplace, which focuses on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets.

“Bridgeport truly has become a national leader in green and renewable energy, and we continue to lead the way with innovative projects that create energy and cleaner air for our kids to breathe,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “It’s good for the economy, creates jobs and is good for the environment.”

The Marketplace article highlighted Bridgeport’s Dominion Fuel Cell, which is the largest fuel cell in North America and produces enough virtually pollutant-free energy to power 15,000 homes.

Click here to read the Marketplace article:

Earlier this year, a new report was released by a group of New England energy companies that calls for fuel cell generation to increase six-fold in Connecticut by 2025. According to the report, within the next 10 years fuel cells should be powering up to 175,000 homes across the state.

“Clean energy, our energy future, and our economy all depend on what’s happening right here in Bridgeport, and that’s why I’m going to be inviting my colleagues to come here and see Connecticut’s and our nation’s energy future. Connecticut is the fuel cell capital of the world, and here in Bridgeport, fuel cells have been applied to save money, save on pollution, drive the economy and create more jobs. It’s really a win/win and Bridgeport is leading the way,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.

The latest recognition comes on the heels of a New York Times profile on Mayor Finch and his “noteworthy results in his attempt to turn his city green.”

“ A recent report from the United States Energy Department highlighted Bridgeport’s efforts to build the largest fuel-cell generating station in North America,” the Times reported.

The author also reported that “a state incentive program intended to drive innovation, combined with city tax policy and the enthusiastic support of Mayor Finch, who is also co-chairman of the United States Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Task Force, helped persuade reluctant utility companies to embrace alternative technologies.”

Click here to read the New York Times article:

And, in February, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored Mayor Finch with its Individual Leadership Award for his “demonstrated leadership in responding to climate change and through engaging with his community and other officials. Mayor Finch’s priorities have included promoting energy initiatives, enhancing sustainability efforts and making Bridgeport one of the greenest cities in America.”

Click here to read more:

In December, as part of a larger package of federal tax extensions, Congress voted to extend the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit, providing key incentives for the production of wind turbines, geothermal, solar, hydropower, biomass, marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy plants.

While the extension preserves critical tax benefits for 2014, additional measures are needed to ensure the continuity of the program for 2015. The fuel cell and solar industry also rely on an Investment Tax Credit that was extended for eight years in 2008.

Connecticut is a national leader in renewable energy technology, with Bridgeport at the cutting edge.

On the horizon is Bridgeport’s Green Energy Park, which will be overseen by United Illuminating.

Green Energy Park will consist 9,000 solar panels and a 2.8MW fuel cell at the site of an unused landfill. It will create up to 92 jobs and produce enough clean energy to power an additional 5,000 homes.

“In Bridgeport, we’re investing in a clean energy future that ensures our kids and grandkids will breathe easier. Green Energy Park will create green jobs today while producing cleaner air for our kids to breathe tomorrow. This project, and others, wouldn’t be possible without federal renewable energy tax credits,” Mayor Finch said.