The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) Board of Directors approved $174,791.97 in funding through the Renewable Energy Fund (REF) to help four Rhode Island companies – East Ave Solar, LLC, of Cranston; Newport Solar of Newport; Real Goods Solar of Providence; and Newport Renewables of Newport – pursue renewable energy projects that will produce electricity by cleaner, more sustainable means.
So far in 2013, the REF has awarded $437,296 to 13 businesses and organizations in three 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 helping Rhode Island businesses that are providing renewable energy services in our state."
"With this third 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 Marcel A. Valois, RIEDC Executive Director.
Funding was approved for projects within two REF programs: Pre-Development Feasibility Study and Small-Scale Solar. The Pre-Development Feasibility Study Program provides forgivable loans for 75 percent of the approved project cost.
The Small-Scale Solar Program consists of $1,500,000 carved out of the 2013 Renewable Energy Fund to fund small-scale solar projects with a grant equal to 25 percent of the installation price. All project owners will be eligible for the 30-percent federal tax credit, which will minimize the out-of-pocket expense and improve the return-on-investment, while the solar photovoltaic systems will significantly reduce or eliminate the consumers' monthly utility bills. All applicants are required to sign up at least three customers prior to applying to the RIEDC for funding.
Summary of REF Awards
Pre-Development Feasibility Study Program
- East Ave Solar, LLC, Cranston, RI -- $39,750
- To help catalyze the development of a 1-MW solar farm in Burrillville, RI.
- General activities this funding will cover prior to construction include interconnection progress prior to enrollment, completion of feasibility study/impact study with National Grid, system design and engineering.
- Newport Solar, Newport, RI -- $33,188
- To help design and install a total of 28.66 kW of solar photovoltaic on eight residential properties, employing five people.
- Newport Solar's mission is to grow as a Rhode Island-based business and employer while fostering the widespread adoption and understanding of solar electricity as a viable means to reduce or eliminate escalating monthly utility bills for Rhode Island residents and businesses while reducing Rhode Island's dependence on fossil fuels.
- Real Goods Solar, Providence, RI -- $72,431
- To help design and install a total of 59.7 kW of solar photovoltaic on 10 residential properties.
- Real Goods Solar, a turn-key solar integrator specializing in residential grid-tied solar photovoltaic installations, has been located and operating in Rhode Island for many years, formerly as Alteris Renewables, SolarWrights and Solar Works prior to those mergers.
- Newport Renewables, Newport, RI -- $29,423
- To help design and install a total of 24.62 kW of solar photovoltaic on three residential properties and one business property.
- The business property belongs to Northeast Collaborative Architects, a historic restoration, sustainable design and master planning firm seeking the installation of a solar photovoltaic system at their firm location in Newport, RI. The system has the potential to produce 15 percent of the building's electricity.