Providence, RI – Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today announced The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) has awarded $1.16 million in grants to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at local public and private schools throughout the state.
"By participating in regional initiatives such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, our state is able to benefit from projects that provide Rhode Island students with a 'living laboratory' to learn about clean energy and environmental protection," Governor Chafee said.
East Greenwich, Chariho Regional, and Lincoln school districts were funded for energy efficiency investments totaling $538,000. These investments included energy-efficient lighting upgrades, replacement of boilers, and installation of controls for heating systems and fans. These projects will provide substantial energy reductions and cost savings for the schools. Chariho estimates that they will save approximately $14,000 annually and reduce their electricity use by 30 percent.
Rocky Hill School (East Greenwich), Community Preparatory School (Providence), Meeting Street School (Providence), and West Warwick High School were awarded a total of $622,250 in grants to install a total of 613 kW of solar capacity – solar photovoltaic systems ranging in size from 33 kW to 235 kW. West Warwick High School will use its grant to install systems on both its field house and ice rink – for a total annual energy bill savings of $31,000.
"These grants reflect Governor Chafee's commitment to strengthening our economy through investments in clean energy," Richard Licht, Director of the Department of Administration, said. "These projects not only allow Rhode Island schools to lead by example, they also create jobs for local businesses."
"These grants align well with the goals of the DEM and the work of the Governor's Executive Climate Change Council," Janet Coit, Director of Environmental Management (DEM), said. "Investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy is essential to reducing emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, and it's just plain smart policy when it comes to planning now to meet the challenges that lie ahead."
"I am so pleased with this slate of grantees," Marion Gold, Commissioner of the OER, said. "The interest in this program speaks volumes about the benefits schools see in investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy. These grants not only help to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, but reduced energy bills allow schools to invest more money in one of our state's greatest resources – the next generation of Rhode Islanders."
These awards were funded through Rhode Island's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is the nation's first market-based system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. RGGI puts a cap on greenhouse gas emissions from the electric power sector in participating states and sells tradable allowances at auction. Rhode Island uses our portion of the proceeds from the auctions to support energy efficiency measures and programs as well as projects focused on renewable energy, grid modernization, and innovation.
For more information, contact Chris Kearns, Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (401-787-4748) or email, (Christopher.Kearns@energy.ri.gov)