Success of ‘Solarize RI’ campaign brings new renewable energy opportunities

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Solar opportunities in Rhode Island are increasing with the success of the Solarize Rhode Island movement.

According to a release from the RI Office of Energy Resources, both Tiverton and Little Compton adopted solar community campaigns and overall, 55 homeowners and businesses went solar — doubling the amount of solar energy in the two towns.

Both the Solarize Tiverton and Little Compton initiatives were part of SmartPower, a non-profit organization hoping to advance clean energy.

“It is great to see so many Rhode Island families and businesses in Tiverton and Little Compton taking advantage of these solar energy initiatives,” said Gov. Gina Raimondo. “With our region facing high energy costs, solar provides an important opportunity to both lower costs and promote clean energy. The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, Commerce RI, and SmartPower are doing great work, and I look forward to these community campaigns continuing to grow across the state.”

Two new programs are also expected to increase statewide solar installations.

National Grid’s Renewable Energy Growth program allows customers to earn credits for the energy they produce. It also offers an incentive payment to excess solar production. Dividend Solar, a solar financing company, plans to partner with SmartPower to offer a loan program that allows customers to own their solar systems with no out of pocket cost.

“We are thrilled to see the strong support of solar following the Solarize Tiverton and Little Compton campaigns,” said Office of Energy Resources Commissioner Marion Gold. “It is clear there is a growing interest in going solar in Rhode Island. This renewable energy source gives consumers the chance to save money on their utility bills and reduce energy consumption. With new financing opportunities forthcoming, I look forward to continuing this exciting work with our partners.”

“We’re seeing costs are coming down so much – both in the cost of the hardware and through bundled purchasing – that the installation costs drop another 20 percent. With the introduction of National Grid’s REG program and Dividend Solar’s zero down financing, going solar in Rhode Island is a no-brainer,” added SmartPower’s President Brian Keane.

To date, there are currently 1.853 of small scale photovoltaics installed in the Ocean State. The Office of Energy Resources hopes the campaigns will bring an additional three megawatts of small scale solar energy over the next year.

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