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State unveils 900 new solar panels on Capitol Hill rooftops

PROVIDENCE, R.I. Governor Gina M. Raimondo unveiled three new solar arrays Tuesday on the rooftops of the Department of Administration, Department of Health and Department of Transportation buildings.

The three solar arrays comprised of a combined 900 solar panels reduce the State's carbon footprint in a way that is equivalent to taking 56 cars off the road each year.

"This project is a testament to what can happen when we all work together for a greener future," said Governor Raimondo. "Renewable energy is the future of energy in Rhode Island. With our Lead by Example initiative, state agencies and municipalities have been encouraged to take on clean energy projects that reduce costs and shrink our carbon footprint all while creating jobs."

In 2015, the Governor issued Executive Order 15-17, which directs state agencies, cities and towns, quasi-public agencies and state colleges and universities to "Lead by Example" by becoming more energy efficient and sourcing more of their power through renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind. Today's unveiling is a big leap forward in the State's progress under this effort.

"With this solar array and others like it being built on rooftops all over the state, we are getting closer to the Governor's goal of reaching 1,000 megawatts of clean energy and making our grid 10 times cleaner," said State Energy Commissioner Carol Grant. "The clean energy economy, which includes installations like these, are responsible for supporting more than 15,000 jobs and growing. We are proud of the example we are setting for government, businesses and Rhode Island residents."

Providence-based Newport Renewables installed the net-metered solar arrays on all three buildings with its in-house team of electricians and renewable energy professionals.

"Not only will the solar arrays decrease the energy use and operating costs of each building, they will decrease Rhode Island's environmental footprint, and serve as great examples for other government entities, businesses and homeowners looking to invest in a clean energy future," said Stuart Flanagan, co-founder and principal of Newport Renewables.

To learn more about the State's Lead by Example program, visit: http://www.energy.ri.gov/policies-programs/lead-by-example/.

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