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PROVIDENCE – A General Assembly bill would quadruple Rhode Island’s existing distributed-generation program.
The bill, introduced in the House and Senate, is designed to encourage rooftop solar projects for residences and small businesses by giving homeowners and business owners financial incentives for these small projects.
Distributed generation involves the production of such nonutility-scale renewable energy projects.
The state’s current program was enacted in 2011 as a pilot to get 40 megawatts of distributed-generation projects up and running over a four-year period. The Conservation Law Foundation, which supports the new bill, says the program has worked as planned. The foundation says 18 separate renewable energy projects have been approved across the state.
The new bill would increase distributed-generation development to an additional 160 megawatts over five years.
The bill would allow “potential developers to enter 15- or 20-year standard agreements with National Grid that gives them a guaranteed income that helps them obtain financing for their projects,” according to a release from House sponsor Rep. Deborah Ruggiero, D-Jamestown. •