Rhode Island to Boost Renewable Energy to 1,000 Megawatts by 2020
Rhode Island is looking to increase its renewable energy to 1,000 megawatts by 2020, according to a strategic initiative by Governor Gina Raimondo. The "1000 by 20" strategic energy goal would expand renewable energy through offshore wind, solar and hydroelectric projects in order to create clean energy jobs, currently around 14,000 across the state, and boost the economy. The governor also wants Rhode Island to procure 100% of its electric consumption from renewable resources by 2025 and achieve a 10% reduction in energy consumption by the end of 2019.
Industrial Info is tracking 17 renewable projects in Rhode Island valued at $2.92 billion, with one biomass project worth $150 million, three wind projects valued at $1.88 billion and 13 solar projects valued at $1 billion.
In the New England market region, which includes Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, Industrial Info is tracking 45 renewable projects valued at more than $14.3 billion.
Rhode Island is the only state with an operational offshore windfarm. The 30-MW Block Island windfarm completed last year is small, but significant in that it could be the first of a wave of offshore wind projects to begin construction in the U.S.
Rhode Island ranks 36th in the U.S. in terms of renewable solar generation, making it a prime state for small and utility-scale solar developers to begin looking for investment opportunities.
The New England Clean Energy RFP concluded in October of last year, with selection of six renewable energy developers advancing to contract negotiation in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The projects, if awarded contracts, would represent 460 MW of clean energy for the New England market region.
The Northeast Clean Energy Council was recently held in Providence and business leaders released their policy priorities, including extensions to the state's successful Renewable Energy Growth program, which will help extend market certainty to renewable energy developers and help the governor's administration meet the 1000-MW-by-2020 goal.
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