$681,875 for Renewable Energy in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation , whose budget was nearly halved recently, operates the Renewable Energy Fund (REF). The purpose of the REF is to make grants to finance renewable energy developments in the state. So far $700k has been granted to finance 17 projects, out which 14 are feasibility studies, 2 are are related to the design and installation of solar PV systems at the the New Shoreham Town Hall and at the Westfield Commons redevelopment project, and 1 is related to the design of a solar PV system at Trinity Church.

In related news, utililty scale renewable energy projects, including the proposed Block Island wind farm, may become more economically viable when Governor Carcieri signs a Green Energy Bill that requires National Grid to enter into long term agreements to purchase energy from renewable sources.  The REF, along with the Green Energy Bill, will pave the way for increased renewable energy development and help the state reach the goal of supplying 16% of total energy demand from renewable sources by 2020.

To learn more about renewable energy, I highly recommend attending the Rhode Island chapter of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (RI – NESEA)’ s upcoming event, which features a talk by Chris Rein, of ESS Group, who leads the permitting effort for the Cape Wind project.

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