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Conn. awarded federal solar energy funding

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Connecticut is receiving a federal grant that will allow the state to improve its solar capacity and lower some installation costs for homeowners and small businesses that put in rooftop solar power systems.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced the nearly $481,500 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday afternoon.

The funding, to be used by the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority and its partners, aims to improve both the permit process and connectivity with Connecticut utilities.

While the grant will help residents and businesses who add solar panel systems with installation costs, it will not cover hardware.

Malloy said the grant will help bring the state closer to energy independence and provide cheaper energy options for residents.

Partners for this grant include state municipalities, universities, energy companies and others.