As one of the smallest states in the US, Rhode Island has the biggest heart encouraging renewable energy usage. Rhode Island introduced solar grants like the Renewable Energy Fund to ease the burden of RI residents.
The program brings tremendous help through financial incentives from the government. In this way, consumers can earn savings from the reduced utility costs on top of this program’s stimuli. Learn more about these benefits and how you can avail them in this article.
Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund
Renewable Energy Fund (REF) rewards residents of Rhode Island that perform solar projects. The program aims to encourage people to take the solar initiative. REF offers loans and grants to those eligible to promote more sustainable and clean electricity production from diverse sources. On top of that, they also stimulate job growth in the green technology industry. Funds come from ‘system benefits charges’ found in utility bills and alternative compliance payments paid by retail electricity merchants.
Solar grants are provided based on the criteria of Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and the Office of Energy Resources. They give incentives to people depending on the following factors:
- Cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy produced
- The expected amount of solar energy at a given time
Keep in mind; these examples are only an overview. More of the eligibility requirements are available below.
Who Qualifies for a Rhode Island Solar Grant?
You can qualify for Rhode Island’s Renewable Energy Fund if your solar project meets the following requirements:
- The solar project needs to benefit a Rhode Island property.
- Solar arrays must be ≤25 kW DC, mounted behind the distribution system of the National Grid.
- The size of the residential solar array design must meet the household’s everyday energy needs. The installation must not be oversized and beyond the estimated annual usage of the receiving customer.
- For residential solar projects, the solar customer must also be the resident who receives the electrical services.
- Solar projects cannot continue during the application process or when the property is under construction unless the site work is less than 25% of the solar project’s total cost.
How Do I Apply for a Rhode Island Solar Grant?
Either solar customers or solar installers and companies may apply for a Rhode Island solar grant. They can submit via an interconnection application as long as they provide the requirements, including the following:
- Audit of the proof of energy
- One-line electrical drawing
- Solar project finalized layout design including the location of every component
- Investment return estimate assuming that there the utility inflation rate is less than 3%
- Signed turnkey contract
It is better to enroll in the program as early as possible before reaching the maximum available funds. All renewable energy projects require third-party inspections in compliance with their technical standards. When your application gets denied, you can still reapply at a later date.
Consult with solar energy consultants like Green Power Energy to ensure your installation follows the regulations, increasing the chances of receiving a grant. They are also the ones who can submit your application on your behalf to qualify. Upon the REF board’s approval, you can receive up to $200,000 worth of incentives.