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Rhode Island

An arrow graphic shows that Rhode Island's renewable portfolio standard increases from 10% in 2016, to 38.5% in 2036.

Carve-out: None
Tracking system: New England Power Pool Generation Information System (NEPOOL-GIS)


Rhode Island extended its renewable energy standard from 2019 to 2035 in 2016. It requires investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and retail suppliers to procure a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable energy.

In 2016, a bill was passed that included provisions of several solar policies, including establishment of community virtual net metering, increasing the system size limit for net metering, and property tax exemption for solar systems. Its net metering program accommodates medium to large sized customers. However, net excess generation is credited at the utility's avoided cost rate instead of the retail rate.

Net Metering

In 2016, Rhode Island increased the net metering system capacity limited from 5 MW to 10 MW and established community virtual net metering. IOUs must offer net metering to their retail customers. IOUs cannot increase demand charges and customer chargers above the rate for other customers and cannot impose any other charges on net-metered customers.

System size limit: 10 MW

Aggregate cap: 3% of peak load for Block Island Power Company and Pascoag Utility District; none for National Grid

Credit: Net excess generation credited at utility's avoided cost rate.

RECs: Not addressed

Meter aggregation: Community virtual net metering is allowed. At least 50% of the capacity for the system should be distributed among users ≤25kW.

Interconnection

Applicable to the state's IOU electric distribution companies, Rhode Island's interconnection policy for customer-sited systems require customers to submit application for system-impact studies to the utility. The cost of the impact study fee ranges from $500 to $10,000 for midsized systems.

Eligible Systems Type of Interconnection
Residential systems ≤25 kW No impact study fee
Residential systems >25 kW $100 impact study fee
Nonresidential systems ≤100 kW $500 impact study fee
Nonresidential systems 100 kW to 1 MWs $1500 to $10,000 impact study fee

System size limit: 5 MW

Liability insurance: Not addressed

External disconnect switch: Not addressed

Third Party Ownership

Not addressed

Community Solar

Rhode Island established community virtual net metering in 2016, caping the total amount at 30 MW. The net-metered systems can be owned by one of the participants or by a third-party through a lease or PPA model.

State Incentive Programs

Program Administrator Incentive
Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources Renewable energy equipment used in the residential (including multifamily and low income) and manufacturing sector are eligible for 100% exemption from property taxes.
Renewable Energy Products Sales and Use Tax Exemption Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources Solar equipment is eligible for 100% exemption from state sales and use tax.
Renewable Energy Corporate Tax Credit Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources PV systems connected to the grid or with battery storage can claim up to $15,000 in corporate income tax deductibles.
Commercial-Scale Renewable Energy Grants Commerce RI Renewable energy systems >10 kW installed on businesses, institutions, non-profits, municipal property, and affordable housing projects. Each project can receive up to $350,000 in grants under the following incentive structure:
$1.15/W for the first 0-50kW
$1.00/W for the 2nd 50kW (up to 100 kW)
$.85/W for the 3rd 50kW (up to 150 kW)
$.70/W for the 4th 50kW (up to 200 kW)
$.55/W for the 5th 50kW (up to 250 kW)
$.40/W for all installed capacity over the first 250 kW

Utility Incentive Programs

Utility Incentive Limitations
National Grid Rhode Island Renewable Energy Growth Program 0.2255/kWh for twenty years Solar PV systems from 26 kW to 250 kW

Resources

The list below provides some resources for each type of policy or program. Please reference and contact relevant authorities and local utilities for the most up-to-date and accurate information on state and utility policies and incentive programs.

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Net metering and interconnection

Community solar

Programs and incentives