Rhode Island Commits to Expanding Solar Energy Investment at Brownfield Sites

Source: RL Martin

For the third year in a row, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) has announced that it will expand an initiative to build solar energy projects at brownfield sites. Brownfields are former industrial or commercial sites, which are negatively impacted by environmental conditions.

“Accelerating our state's adoption of clean energy resources through the utilization of previously-disturbed sites is vital to achieving our greenhouse gas emissions reduction mandates while preserving Rhode Island's natural environment," said Nicholas S. Ucci, State Energy Commissioner. "Our program to expand solar developments on brownfields has been very successful in its first two years, which is why we have decided to continue this important effort. Not only does it help our state reduce its carbon emissions, but it also supports clean energy jobs and helps cities and towns reclaim contaminated lands for useful purposes.”

With the program expansion OER has committed $1 million in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) funding, in addition to $2 million that was previously allocated by the state. Funds were made available to qualifying projects starting May 19, 2021 and will run until funds are exhausted. More program and application information can be found here.

Previous rounds of funding led to the redevelopment of 12 brownfield sites and over 25 MW of new solar capacity in the state. This action supports the Rhode Island 2021 Act on Climate, signed by Governor Dan McKee in April, which requires the state to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.