Solar incentives spark an emerging market

Another industry with a potentially brighter future locally than its recent past is solar energy. More

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PBN Editorial

Solar incentives spark an emerging market

Posted 10/7/13

Another industry with a potentially brighter future locally than its recent past is solar energy.

Rhode Island has long lagged neighboring Massachusetts and most other states in renewable energy production. But as a story on Page 15 reports, Rhode Island is now seen as an emerging market for solar energy.

“The past few years, there was no incentive in Rhode Island and my business was flat,” Newport Solar President Doug Sabetti told PBN. This year he’s gotten 28 new projects through a state program that provides funding for small-scale solar projects.

Another state program in which power is sold back to National Grid under a 15-year contract has spurred solar-energy proposals in a host of communities. One of those projects, a 13,000-panel solar farm in East Providence, is expected to be finished in November.

The East Providence project is the first in the state for Nashville, Tenn.-based co-developer Hacate Energy – and won’t be the last, says Chief Operating Officer Nick Bullinger.

Thoughtful, targeted business incentives will attract investment even in the worst of economic times. It is a lesson learned in solar energy that can yield similar results in other industries with companies like Hacate, just looking for reasons to invest here. •

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