May 21, 2024

Commercial Solar Incentives Rhode Island

Commercial solar in Rhode Island has been growing. Despite its notable progress in rooftop solar power generation, the state still grapples with high electricity prices due to heavy reliance on natural gas. In this blog, we delve into how solar companies in Rhode Island are maximizing returns on investment (ROI) for commercial solar projects, offering a sustainable and profitable future.

Diversifying Energy Sources:

In Rhode Island over 10% of the state’s electricity is now generated from solar power, with solar companies playing a pivotal role. The state supplements its solar initiatives with electricity from other clean resources, aiming to source 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2030.

Net Metering Policy:

A key policy driving commercial solar investments in Rhode Island is Net Metering. This policy allows businesses and residents with onsite solar installations to offset their electricity usage by crediting excess electricity generation. Striking a balance between production and usage, the Net Metering policy ensures that solar power systems do not exceed 125% of the property’s consumption.

Renewable Energy Fund (REF):

Renewable Energy Fund (REF)

Renewable Energy Fund (REF)

Rhode Island incentivizes commercial solar installations through the REF, offering financial support starting at $0.70 per watt. The funding decreases with array size but is capped at $75,000 per project. Additionally, an ‘Energy Storage Adder’ incentive of $0.50 per watt, capped at $40,000 per project, sweetens the deal for projects incorporating energy storage. This combination of incentives, coupled with high electricity prices, often results in solar projects paying for themselves in less than five years.

Renewable Energy Growth Program (REG):

Renewable Energy Growth Program REG

Renewable Energy Growth Program (REG)

The REG Program compensates solar system owners for energy contributed directly to the grid. Payment rates vary based on project size, with potential earnings ranging from 14.35 to 25.65 cents per kilowatt-hour over a twenty-year period. Smaller projects in the 25 to 250 kW range can generate substantial earnings, with the potential to earn up to $75,000 annually.

Financial Model and Returns:

Illustrating the benefits of Rhode Island’s twenty-year REG contract, a financial model for a building in Bristol, RI, reveals the potential for solar investments to recoup over half of their cost in the first year alone. These incentives, including the Investment Tax Credit and MACRS depreciation, play a crucial role in achieving full cost recovery in less than five years.