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Solar power in Rhode Island

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Solar power in Rhode Island

Rhode Island population density

Solar power in Rhode Island has become economical due to new technological improvements and a variety of regulatory actions and financial incentives, particularly a 30% federal tax credit, available through 2016, for any size project. A typical residential installation could pay for itself in utility bill savings in 14 years, and generate a profit for the remainder of its 25 year life. Larger systems, from 10 kW to 5 MW, receive a feed-in tariff of up to 33.45¢/kWh.[1][2]

Due to the state's small size and comparatively low insolation, solar installations are limited to predominantly rooftop and megawatt scale installations. Approximately 23% of electricity used in Rhode Island could be provided from rooftop solar panels.[3] A 10 to 15 MW photovoltaic power plant is planned for a former landfill in East Providence.[4]

Government policy

The Government of Rhode Island has taken a variety of actions in order to encourage solar energy use within the state. Nineteen schools have installed a 2 kW or larger solar panel that can be monitored on the Internet, similar to the programs in Australia and New Zealand.[5] A variety of solar arrays have been installed at state facilities, which can also be monitored.[6][7]

Net metering

The state has a net metering program that allows installations of up to 7 MW of on-site electrical generation to continuously roll over any excess generation to the next month, or purchased at avoided cost. Participation is limited to 9% of utilities peak demand.[8] Peak demand for the state for 2011 was 21,477 MW.[9]

Renewable portfolio standard

The state adopted a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in 2004 which requires that 16% of Rhode Island's electricity come from renewable resources by 2019.[10]

Installed capacity

Photovoltaics (MWp)[11][12][13][14][15][16][17]
Year Capacity Change % Change
2007 0.6
2008 0.6
2009 0.6
2010 0.6
2011 1.2 0.6 100%
2012 1.9 0.7 58%
2013 7.6 5.7 300%

See also

References

  1. ^ Rhode Island State Solar Power Rebates, Tax Credits, and Incentives
  2. ^ Distributed Generation Standard Contracts
  3. ^ Report Argues for a Decentralized System of Renewable Power Generation
  4. ^ R.I. EDC approves grant, loan for solar-power project, Bristol repair shop
  5. ^ Solar Installation Map
  6. ^ RI lands $1.5M to install solar panels on state property
  7. ^ News Release
  8. ^
  9. ^ Semiannual Projections of Energy Supply and Demand Winter Outlook 2011- 2012
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^

External links

  • Incentives and policies
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