Grants to Help Fund 94 New Solar-Energy Projects

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

PROVIDENCE — The state Renewable Energy Fund (REF) recently made one of its biggest outlays of grants to fund 94 new solar-energy projects.

In all, $1.7 million was awarded to private preparatory schools, low-income housing facilities, a winery, a solar carport and dozens of projects in the discount solar program Solarize Rhode Island.

Schools don’t qualify for the 30 percent federal tax credit and instead received a subsidy covering as much as 75 percent of a project’s cost, the funding coming from Rhode Island’s participation in the multi-state cap-and-trade program known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Several of the schools plan to include the solar arrays in classroom studies.

Residential
Colorado-based RGS Energy was awarded $324,037 for 43 projects worth $1.26 million. Many of the projects were secured through Solarize Rhode Island outreach in North Smithfield.

Econox Group Inc. of Providence was awarded $212,500 for a 250-kilowatt solar carport at Indian Run Village, a low-income housing facility in Wakefield. The project is valued at $665,000.

Econox Group Inc. of Providence was awarded $182,500 for a 200-kilowatt solar array at Bear Hill Village, a low-income housing facility in Cumberland. The project is valued at $532,000.

Newport Solar was awarded $115,595 for 16 residential projects worth $453,302.

Econox Group Inc. of Providence was awarded $107,500 for a 100-kilowatt solar array at Metcalf Courts, a low-income housing facility in Providence. The project is valued at $266,000.

Sol Power LLC of Providence was awarded $102,455 for 14 residential projects valued at $352,928.

Econox Group Inc. of Providence was awarded $82,500 for a 75-kilowatt solar array at the Gatewood Apartments, a low-income housing facility in North Smithfield. The project is valued at $199,00.

SunWatt Solar LLC of Providence was awarded $24,018 for three residential projects valued at $80,162.

US Solar Works of Attleboro, Mass., was awarded $10,000 for one residential project valued at $72,450.

Newport Renewables was awarded $6,882 for one residential project valued at $22,443.

Schools
Moses Brown School in Providence was awarded $107,500 for a 100-kilowatt solar project valued at $383,000. The project also received $143,625 through RGGI.

Lincoln School in Providence was awarded $57,316 for a 49.84-kilowatt project valued at $209,520. The project also received $152,204 through RGGI.

Quest Montessori School in Narragansett was awarded $57,316 for a 49.84-kilowatt project valued at $199,450. The project also received $132,174 through RGGI.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School in Bristol was awarded $52,540 for a 45.6-kilowatt project valued at $190,865. The project also received $138,452 through RGGI.

Block Island School in New Shoreham was awarded $45,655 for a 39.7-kilowatt project valued at $271,600. The project also received $174,100 from RGGI and $51,845 from the town of New Shoreham.

Pennfield School in Portsmouth was awarded $27,531 for a 23.94-kilowatt solar array valued at $109,748. The project also received $82,217 through RGGI.

St. Michael’s Country Day School in Newport was $11,799 for a 10.26-kilowatt project valued at $46,170. The project also received $34,371 through RGGI.

Businesses
Herbold Meckesheim USA in North Smithfield was awarded $25,760 for a 22.4-kilowatt solar array valued at $86,240.

Fantastic Umbrella Factory in Charlestown was awarded $19,992 for a 17.38-kilowatt solar array valued at $59,109.

Andrea Bond Winery in Tiverton was awarded $13,765 for an 11.97-kilowatt solar array valued at $43,295.

The REF has been issuing grants for small and large solar projects since 2009. The fund is financed through a charge on electric bills and renewable-energy compliance payments made by electricity producers. The REF has a balance of about $6 million.