RI Renewable Energy Growth ProgramMay 26, 2015
Rhode Island expands its renewable energy efforts through a new program released by National Grid.
National Grid has released details about a Renewable Energy Growth (REG) Program which, over the course of five years (beginning June 15th of this year), will add 160 megawatts of renewable energy to Rhode Island’s electric grid. The program will replace the Distributed Generation Standard Contracts Program which has been in place since 2011 and is intended to open renewable energy opportunities to a wider range of Rhode Islanders. The state will begin accepting applications for small solar projects (25 kilowatts (kW) or less) on June 15, 2015 and larger solar projects and other renewable technologies will be able to apply closer to the beginning of the first enrollment period, which begins on August 3, 2015.
More about the program
The REG program is available to eligible renewable distributed generation (DG) projects and gives customers the opportunity to sell their generation output under long term tariffs at fixed prices. The program will fund projects through a competitive performance-based incentive system.
For Solar (larger than 25 kW), Wind, Hydroelectric and Anaerobic Digester projects, participants are required to:
- Compete through periodic solicitations based on price below a predetermined “ceiling price”
- Provide a completed Impact Study for Renewable Distributed Generation or valid Interconnection Service Agreement
- Follow tariff and program solicitation and enrollment process rules.
For small solar projects (installations 25 kW or less), participants:
- Are required to adhere to special solicitation and enrollment process rules.
- Will receive a special residential tariff to simplify the process.
The projects are designed to feed back into National Grid’s distribution system and as compensation for their generation, project owners will receive payment. The program is also designed to:
- Help reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Provide RI with greater energy diversification
- Help meet energy demand during high usage periods
- Produce enough electricity (over the five year span) to power 30,000 homes per year
- Increase average annual economic output
- Produce more jobs considering it will encourage the growth of the renewable energy industry