PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Dan McKee, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) have announced $115,667 in grants to help farmers "green" their operations and save energy and money. The awards, funded through the Rhode Island Agricultural Energy Grant Program, will support solar projects at six local farms across the state.
"Our farmers supply Rhode Islanders with home-grown, nutritious foods and other locally produced products, improving our quality of life," said Governor Daniel McKee. "It is essential for us to support them and help our local farm economy thrive. I'm delighted to announce a new round of grants to help these farms convert their operations to clean energy so that we can help lower the burden of their energy bills while reducing their carbon emissions."
"The Agricultural Energy Grant Program is helping farms meet their unique operational and energy demands while reducing utility costs and carbon footprints," said State Energy Commissioner Nicholas Ucci. "Through these important investments, our farms are not only making sound decisions for their businesses, but also contributing to Rhode Island's efforts to address climate change."
"We congratulate our grant recipients and all partners in our vital and vibrant agricultural sector for their efforts to bring clean, reliable, and affordable renewable energy to Rhode Island farms," said DEM Director Terry Gray. "Farm Energy Grants are helping farming families grow their businesses, help reduce agricultural carbon emissions, and do their part to make our state cleaner and greener."
Spring 2022 funded projects include:
Elwood Orchard – Scituate, Award $18,027 The 7.2 kW rooftop solar project will offset 100 percent of the energy use for this homestead and apple orchard operation.
Newport Equestrian Academy – Middletown, Award $20,000 The 36 kW rooftop solar array will offset 100 percent of the energy use for this local horse farm.
Roots Farm – Tiverton, Award $20,000 The 17.2 kW ground-mounted solar array will offset 100 percent of the energy use for this diversified, certified organic vegetable farm to grow over 27 tons of vegetables.
Silk Tree Farm – Exeter, Award $17,640 The 7.2 kW ground-mounted solar array will offset 100 percent of the energy use for this livestock-growing and organic self-care product operation.
Sodco, Inc. – Slocum, Award $20,000 The 53.55 kW rooftop solar project will offset 74 percent of the energy used by this large contiguous commercial farm in RI - Founded in 1981.
The Farm in RI – Chepachet, Award $20,000 The 5.135 kW rooftop mounted solar array will offset approximately 65 percent of the energy use for this organic vegetable, egg, and flower operation.
There are more than 1,000 farms throughout Rhode Island, contributing over 2,500 jobs and $235 million to the Rhode Island economy each year.
Funding for the state's Agricultural Energy Grant program is made possible through Rhode Island's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation's first mandatory, market-based cap, and trade program to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the power sector.
To read more about how Rhode Island is addressing climate change mitigation and resiliency, please visit: http://climatechange.ri.gov.