The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) has launched a new energy storage adder pilot program. The $1.5 million pilot program offers incentives for energy storage projects which are paired with renewable energy systems like solar panel installations. Energy storage is widely-regarded as a vital component of our clean energy future and Rhode Island officials seem to agree with this line of thought.
The State Energy Commissioner, Nicholas S. Ucci, noted the important role that energy storage will play in helping the state of Rhode Island to meet its renewable energy goals in the future. The following remarks, courtesy of RI.gov, highlight Mr. Ucci’s support for this new energy storage pilot program:
“Energy storage is an exciting technology that can help the state meet its clean energy goals. Electric storage can help match the timing of renewable energy generation with when we need electricity the most. These technologies can also enhance grid resiliency for Rhode Islanders, such as keeping the lights on and critical systems functioning during power outages. This pilot incentive program will provide valuable data and insight on future energy storage growth in the Rhode Island marketplace.”
Energy Storage Adder Program Eligibility
The program is open to both residential and commercial projects. To qualify for the incentive program, all projects must be paired with a new renewable energy installation. Additionally, projects must meet the requirements of National Grid’s demand response program. The NG demand response program, known as ConnectedSolutions, aims to ensure that all systems are capable of participating in demand reductions during peak events. This participation will help to reduce overall energy costs for RI electricity customers across the state. Click on the link below to download a PDF which outlines the purpose of the Energy Storage Adder Pilot Program:
Energy Storage Incentive Availability
This energy storage incentive program is available through Rhode Island Commerce's Renewable Energy Fund, and is supported by RI’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Incentives will be made available between September 2020 and May 2021—in four separate rounds. You can learn more about this incentive, and the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund, by visiting the Rhode Island Commerce website at this link.
How to Apply for the Rhode Island Energy Storage Adder Pilot Program
Eligible, qualifying projects can now apply for the RI Energy Storage Adder Pilot Program. Follow the link below to download a PDF copy of the application form for the program. This PDF also includes vital information about the overall program and the entire application process:
Rhode Island Renewable Energy Goals
Rhode Island has shown itself to be one of many states with a serious commitment to tackling climate change and supporting the growth of renewable energy. This energy storage pilot program is another step towards the larger goal of meeting 100% of Rhode Island electricity demand with renewable energy by the end of the decade. This target was established via an executive order signed by Governor Gina Raimondo back in January of 2020. You can visit the State of Rhode Island Climate Change website at this link to learn more about RI’s approach to climate change mitigation and resiliency.
Rhode Island Solar Farms & Solar Land Leases
As part of Rhode Island’s commitment to fighting climate change and deploying renewable energy systems throughout the state, more and more solar developers are seeking land to host solar farms. A solar farm land lease is a way for Rhode Island landowners to create an additional revenue stream with minimal effort on their part. Developers like YSG Solar will pay RI landowners an agreed-upon rental rate to use their land for the construction & hosting of a solar farm project. Solar farms can incorporate energy storage systems to further stabilize and enhance energy efficiency, benefitting all concerned parties—the landowner, the developer, the utility company, and the entire local community. Solar farm lease rates vary depending on the specifics of the project and the parcel of land in question, but Rhode Island has some of the most competitive solar farm land lease rates in the country. Payments to landowners are typically made annually on a per-acre basis, though some RI land lease agreements may use a per-megawatt approach instead.
With the incentivization of energy storage projects in the form of the Rhode Island Energy Storage Adder Pilot Program, we are likely to see further implementation of energy storage systems alongside large-scale renewable projects like solar farms in the future. In a state where land value is already among the highest in the country, this increased drive for renewable energy solutions is likely to benefit landowners even further. With already-high agricultural land value, and growing demand for solar farms, Rhode Island landowners will likely be able to command some of the highest solar farm land lease rates in the entire United States. In fact, a recent study from the USDA puts Rhode Island farm real estate value at $16,000 per acre—the highest figure of any state. Given the already-high value of land RI land, solar farm land leases could prove extremely lucrative for Rhode Island landowners in the coming years.
Interested in energy storage alongside your solar panels? Whether or not you installed solar with YSG, we are more than happy to discuss your options for an energy storage project. YSG is also seeking vacant, unused land to host Rhode Island solar farms. Get in touch today. Send us an email or call at 212.389.9215 to get started or learn more.
YSG Solar is a project development vehicle responsible for commoditizing energy infrastructure projects. We work with long-term owners and operators to provide clean energy assets with stable, predictable cash flows. YSG's market focus is distributed generation and utility-scale projects located within North America.
Featured Image: Kenneth C. Zirkel, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons