Governor Gina M. Raimondo touted progress toward her administration’s goal to make Rhode Island’s energy system 10 times cleaner. Since announcing the goal to bring 1,000 megawatts of clean energy into the state’s energy portfolio last spring, Rhode Island has more than doubled the amount of renewable power. Building on this progress, Governor Raimondo directed her energy team today to work with the state’s utilities to issue a procurement for up to 400 megawatts of affordable, clean energy by this summer.
“Our commitment to a greener energy future is good for our environment and good for our economy. Since announcing our goal to make our energy system 10 times cleaner, we’ve more than doubled the amount of renewable energy in the state, from roughly 100 megawatts to 230,” said Governor Raimondo.
“Few states are as vulnerable to climate change as Rhode Island. Our investments and commitment to fighting climate change will create jobs and protect our environment. That’s why we set this goal, and it’s why I’m directing my team to work with Rhode Island’s utilities to procure another 400 megawatts of clean and renewable energy by the end of this summer,” Raimondo added.
The Office of Energy Resources will collaborate with the state’s utilities to design a request for proposals. The specific details of the RFP will be released at a later date.
“Because of the critical groundwork we have conducted in Rhode Island — including the first-ever offshore wind farm in the country and our nationally renowned energy efficiency programs — we have created a strong foundation for a more affordable, reliable and clean energy system,” said State Energy Commissioner Carol Grant. “Local homeowners, businesses and governments are actively installing renewable energy projects throughout the state, which is helping our environment while bolstering the State’s clean energy industry.”
The 1,000-MW goal directs Rhode Island’s energy team to seek a broad mix of clean resources — including offshore and onshore wind, hydro, and solar. The state’s existing and successful clean energy programs are working well, contributing to clean energy expansion and job growth throughout Rhode Island. This large-scale procurement will supplement and accelerate the state’s progress, and diversify its mix of clean energy.
“This competitive RFP will help to deliver more clean energy for Rhode Island at the lowest market rates, which will protect ratepayers’ wallets,” said Macky McCleary, administrator of the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers. “We look forward to reviewing some innovative proposals.”
“We commend Governor Raimondo for her leadership in driving clean energy development through the solicitation announced today for 400 megawatts of solar, wind, and other clean energy resources,” said Northeast Clean Energy Council President Peter Rothstein. “Ambitious policy actions like this are putting Rhode Island on the map as an increasingly attractive market for clean energy and economic development.”
Since 2014, Rhode Island has added more than 5,000 green jobs, a 66% increase. The Governor’s goal calls for 20,000 green jobs by 2020. Since 2014, the state has also increased the number of solar companies that are approved to do business with the state eight-fold, from six to 48.
Last year, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranked RI #3 in the United States for energy efficiency programs and policies. And after launch a virtual net metering program in 2011, it’s been expanded to include private and public schools, nonprofits, federal government buildings, and hospitals.