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Wind Power Sets New Record in Texas

April 7, 2014

Wind Energy Helped CAISO Avoid Emergency Alert

April 7, 2014

Study Finds Wind Power Cost Competitive with Natural Gas

April 7, 2014

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U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition

May 5, 2014

Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach Webinar: The 2014 Farm Bill's Renewable Energy for America Program

May 21, 2014

Distributed Wind Energy Workshop

June 7, 2014

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The Statewide Economic Impact of Wind Energy Development in Oklahoma: An Input-Output Analysis by Parts Examination

March 26, 2014

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Rhode Island Wind Activities

This Web page summarizes wind activity on the following topics for the state of Rhode Island. Some of the following documents are available as Adobe Acrobat PDFs. Download Adobe Reader.

Operating and Planned Wind Projects

New England wind projects can be located on our Google Map. This page shows the location of installed and planned New England wind projects. Find windfarms, community-scale wind projects, customer-sited wind projects, small wind projects, and offshore wind projects.

Policies and Guidelines

  • Renewable Energy Standard

    This information was last updated on 7/28/2009.

    Rhode Island's Renewable Energy Standard encourages renewable energy development in Rhode Island and the region. It requires all load-serving entities in the state to supply 14% of their total electricity obligation from "New" renewable energy resources by the end of 2019. In addition, the Renewable Energy Standard requires 2% of supply from "Existing" renewable energy resources beginning in 2007. In 2020, and in each year thereafter, the minimum Renewable Energy Standard established in 2019 must be maintained unless the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (PUC) determines otherwise. Like the other New England states, Rhode Island utilizes the New England Generation Information System (GIS) to verify compliance and prevent double counting of Renewable Energy Credits.

    Narragansett Electric, which does business as National Grid and is the largest electric distribution utility in Rhode Island, is periodically required to file Renewable Energy Standard Procurement Plans. The PUC rejected the company's 2009 Renewable Energy Standard Plan, citing the omission of long-term renewable energy contracts. This implied support for long-term contracts is significant for proposed wind energy projects in the region which may rely on the availability of long-term contracts to achieve financing and operation.

    The PUC is also in the process of investigating the adequacy of regional renewable energy supplies to meet the planned Renewable Energy Standard target increase in 2011. A finding that there is, or is reasonably expected to be, an adequate amount of eligible new renewable energy supply denotes that the Renewable Energy Standard targets will increase as currently legislated. A finding of inadequate supply means that the 1% increase planned for 2011 will be delayed by one year. A second PUC adequacy review is required prior to implementing the 1.5% Renewable Energy Standard target increase currently set for 2015.

    More Information

    • An Act Relating to Public Utilities and Carriers — Renewable Energy Standard
    • Docket 3659: Negotiated Rulemaking to Promulgate Rules and Regulations to Implement a Renewable Energy Standard
    • Docket 4041: National Grid's proposed Standard Offer Portfolio Procurement Plan for 2010 and Renewable Energy Supply (RES) Procurement Plan for 2010
    • Docket 4050: Commission's Review into the Adequacy of Renewable Energy Supplies (to meet 2011 targets)
  • Backup Rate Exemption

    This information was last updated on 7/28/2009.

    Under a settlement with Narragansett Electric Company, customers installing renewable energy generators are exempted from Narragansett's backup rates, up to a cumulative 3 MW of capacity. For more information, see the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission report and order, docket number 3617 (PDF 3.1 MB).

  • Long-Term Contracts with Renewable Energy Generators

    This information was last updated on 7/28/2009.

    The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has opened Docket No. 4069 to develop regulations governing Long-Term Contracting Standards for renewable energy as mandated in P.L. 09-051 (House Bill 5002 Sub A as amended) and 09-053 (Senate Bill 111 Sub A as amended), to be codified as R.I. Gen. Laws § 39-26.1 et seq. The Commission must have the general Rules established by April 1, 2010 and by April 30, 2010 for utility scale projects. For more information, see the text of Law Promulgating Rulemaking (PDF 34 KB) and the Rhode Island PUC docket page (search for number 4069).

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Some of the available incentives for projects include tax incentives, public benefits fund supported grants and loans, and net metering. Net metering requires electric utilities to permit customers to reduce their electric bills by generating their own power using small-scale renewable energy systems. The excess power they generate can be fed back to their utilities, actually running their electric meters backwards.

  • Renewable Energy Fund

    This information was last updated on 7/30/2009.

    In November 2008, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (EDC) re-established the Renewable Energy Fund with new management and new directives. While the EDC is in the process of acting on outstanding Office of Energy Resources commitments, it has been accepting funding applications for all four of their renewable energy related initiatives. The four renewable energy financing initiative areas include:

    The Renewable Energy Fund receives approximately $2.4 Million per year from a non-bypassable charge on all Rhode Island ratepayer bills. Under the new rules, the Director has the authority to approve grants and loans up to $50K, with larger disbursements requiring approval by the board of directors. The fund currently has a balance of $4.1 Million, of which $3.2 Million has been committed to aid in the development of the Ocean Special Area Management Plan. The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation is now accepting applications for funding in all categories.

  • Net Metering

    This information was last updated on 10/1/2009.

    Net metering is available to customers of investor-owned utilities for renewable energy systems. The limitations are as follows: 3.5 MW for municipalities and Narragansett Bay Commission, 2.25 MW for certain systems serving municipalities (developed but not owned by cities and towns, sited on land owned by the city or town, and providing power solely to the city or town), and 1.65 MW for all other systems. The aggregate limit on net metering is 2% of peak load, with a minimum of 1 MW reserved for projects with a capacity less than 25 kW. Additional detail can be found in the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission's Final Report and Order on Net Metering (PDF 1.0 MB) Download Adobe Reader.

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  • Special Area Management Plan

    This information was last updated on 7/30/2009.

    In the summer of 2008, funding was approved for the development of a Special Area Management Plan covering the offshore waters of Rhode Island. Under the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act, preparation of a Special Area Management Plan will expedite an offshore energy development process because it enables permitting of projects within the area covered by the Special Area Management Plan to proceed on the basis of an Environmental Assessment in lieu of an Environmental Impact Statement.

    The Special Area Management Plan is being executed by a joint partnership between the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) and the University of Rhode Island. The University of Rhode Island's role is to provide data to the CRMC. CRMC will use the University of Rhode Island's data to execute the Special Area Management Plan's regulatory framework. The Special Area Management Plan process is expected to be completed by 2010.

    More Information

    • Additional University of Rhode Island Special Area Management Plan information.
    • Offshore Wind Power in Rhode Island (PDF 368 KB) A presentation by Andrew Dzykewicz, Commissioner, Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, at the Northeast Energy and Commerce Assocation Conference, March 5, 2009.
    • Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan (PDF 16.2 MB) A presentation by Grover Fugate, Executive Director, Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council at the Environmental Business Council of New England 2009 Offshore Wind Energy Seminar.
    • Rhode Island Joint Development Agreement (PDF 3.6 MB) A presentation by Chris Wissemann, CEO, Deepwater Wind at the Environmental Business Council of New England 2009 Offshore Wind Energy Seminar.

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Transmission, Interconnection, and System Integration

  • Interconnection Standards

    This information was last updated on 7/7/2005.

    Narragansett Electric, which serves 99% of the state's non-island customers, has developed a streamlined one-page interconnection application and agreement form for net-metered systems. For more information, see Narragansett's Interconnection Requirements (PDF 533 KB) Download Adobe Reader.

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Other Initiatives

  • Rhode Island Energy Independence

    This information was last updated on 7/30/2009.

    Rhode Island Governor Carcieri announced in January 2006 an initiative, called RIWINDS, but later renamed to Rhode Island Energy Independence, to supply 15% of the state's total electricity demand with wind power. The state funded a study to determine the feasibility of installing as much as 450 nameplate MW of wind power. For more information, read the Rhode Island Winds Phase I: Wind Energy Siting Study.

  • Offshore Wind

    This information was last updated on 7/30/2009.

    • Offshore Wind Stakeholder Group

      In late October 2007 the Offshore Wind Stakeholder Group released a presentation (PDF 3.2 MB) on issues they have identified and discussed relative to the development of the state's significant offshore wind energy potential. Topics discussed in the presentation include the development process and timeline, environmental permitting and impacts, aesthetics, interconnection, economics, and a range of potential conflicts with existing uses. The Stakeholder Group has also issued a final report (PDF 90 KB) assessing offshore wind in Rhode Island.

    • Offshore Wind Farm Development Request for Proposal

      In the spring of 2008, Rhode Island issued a request for proposals (RFP) from private companies to construct and operate an offshore wind farm, to be located in an area south of Block Island, that would generate 1.3 million MWh annually (approximately 15% of the state's electricity needs). In a plan developed by the Governor, the state evaluated bids based on criteria including: total cost to Rhode Island ratepayers, bidder qualifications, and expected in-state economic benefit (including creation of new jobs and tax revenues).

      Deepwater Wind was chosen as the preferred developer to construct a Rhode Island offshore wind energy project. Deepwater Wind has since pledged a private investment in the state of approximately $1.5 billion. Deepwater Wind has stated its commitment to constructing a regional manufacturing facility in Quonset that would create up to 800 new jobs.

      The exact location of the wind project to be developed by Deepwater Wind will be determined from the results of the Special Area Management Plan permitting process led by the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council in partnership with the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. The results are expected sometime in 2010.

    • Special Area Management Plan

      In the summer of 2008, funding was approved for the development of a Special Area Management Plan covering the offshore waters of Rhode Island.

    • Rhode Island Wind Conference

      In April, 2007 the "From Local to Global: the RI Model for Harnessing Wind Power Worldwide" conference was hosted by the Office of Energy Resources, the University of Rhode Island, Roger Williams University, and the Washington County Regional Planning Office.

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Buying Wind Energy

  • GreenUp

    This information was last updated on 8/4/2011.

    A renewable energy program offered by Narragansett Electric Company. Through this program, Narragansett Electric's customers can select from several green power offerings and suppliers, all of which include some fraction of wind power.

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List of Installers and Vendors

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80-Meter Wind Map

Click on the link to read more about the wind resources in Rhode Island.

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Read more information about events happening in the New England region.

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News, Publications, and Web Resources

Total of 15 records found.
Page 2 of 2, Sorted by descending title
Filtered by: States

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Date sort by ascending date sort by descending date State sort by ascending state sort by descending state Type of Information Program Area Title sort by ascending title sort by descending title More Details
1/31/2006 RI Interview
New England Interview: Brother Joseph of Portsmouth Abbey  ...more
8/31/2007 RI Interview
New England Interview: Andrew Dzykewicz, Commissioner, Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources  ...more
10/22/2012 RI News
Hodges Badge Company Wind Project Case Study  ...more
RI Web Resource
Clean Energy Rhode Island  ...more
2/21/2004 RI News
Small Wind
Block Island: Three blades to the wind, North Light windmill up and spinning  ...more

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