In March 2017, Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced a strategic goal to increase the amount of clean energy in the state by 10 times by the end of 2020 – achieving a total of 1,000 MW of clean energy projects.
In 2016, the baseline year for this goal, Rhode Island had approximately 100 megawatts of clean energy. Since then, Rhode Island has become the first and still only state with an operational offshore wind farm.
The goal includes energy from a broad portfolio of clean energy resources, including offshore and on-shore wind and solar. Homeowners, municipalities, institutions and private commercial and industrial enterprises can contribute to the goal with smart investments in clean energy.
The 1000 MW goal is not just about energy, but clean energy jobs too. Now 15,305 jobs strong, Rhode Island's clean energy economy continues to demonstrate robust economic growth. Since 2014, clean energy employment in the Ocean State has grown by an impressive 66 percent and 11 percent over just this past year. The Governor has set a goal to reach a total of 20,000 clean energy jobs by 2020.
The road to 1,000 MW of clean energy by 2020 is an ambitious, but achievable goal.
At the end of 2016, Rhode Island’s energy mix consisted of about 138 MW of operational renewable energy projects. As of the end of the first quarter of 2018, we have added approximately 156 MW of clean energy generation capacity, resulting in a total of 294 MW.
Of that 294 MW total, 123 MW is onshore wind, 95 MW is solar, 35 MW is landfill gas/anaerobic digestion, 30 MW is offshore wind and 11 MW is small hydroelectric power.
Located on the south side of Providence, the Meeting Street School is where infants, preschoolers and children of all ages and abilities receive individualized attention from highly trained, dedicated educators.
The Meeting Street solar project consists of a 86.19 kW net metered solar PV installation, that produces approximately 101,757 kWh and over $8,853 in annual energy savings. This project was supported by two grants of $126,750 and $102,309 from the RGGI Solar on Schools program and the Commerce Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund, respectively. Combining these two incentives has allowed Meeting Street to have direct ownership of this project, rather than entering into a PPA or alternative financing structure, resulting in the school receiving 100% of the electricity production benefits.
To date, this project has produced approximately 161,816 kWh, saving the school close to $30,000 in electricity costs! Meeting Street School is just one example of the types of projects that are contributing to the Governor’s 1000 MW clean energy goal.