The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) Board of Directors today approved $78,170 in funding through the Renewable Energy Fund (REF) to help the Rhode Island Department of Education and the Narragansett Bay Commission develop solar energy projects that will produce electricity in a cleaner, more sustainable manner. So far in 2013, the REF has awarded a total of $262,504 to nine businesses and organizations in the first two rounds of funding.
"By using our assets wisely, we as a state can work to put Rhode Island at the forefront of energy sustainability and affordability," Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said. "Through the Renewable Energy Fund, we are continuing to assist Rhode Island businesses, as well as public and non-profit organizations, in becoming more energy independent while supporting the growth of the renewable energy sector and related jobs."
"With this new round of funding, we continue to support exciting projects within our communities that contribute to cleaner electricity production and strengthen the state's leadership in renewable energy," said Jerauld Adams, Vice-Chair of the RIEDC Board and President of North American Industries.
The Rhode Island Department of Education was awarded a $53,170 grant to purchase and install a 41.76kW solar photovoltaic system at the Paul Crowley East Bay Campus of the MET School in Newport, RI. The solar project is the first of three projects to be installed onsite in order for the school to reach the goal of net-zero energy consumption. The construction will employ over 10 local electricians, engineers, architects, installers, and project managers.
The Narragansett Bay Commission will use a $25,000 loan to determine the physical and financial feasibility of installing solar photovoltaic arrays on its two inactive landfills at Bucklin Point Wastewater Treatment Facility in East Providence, RI. This facility consistently consumes a large amount of electricity, making it ideal for onsite generation. With a thorough and specific study, the Commission will assess whether to pursue a long-term contract finance option through National Grid's Distributed Generation Program or a net-metered "behind-the-meter" financing option combined with other production incentives to determine the most appropriate size solar energy system for the site.