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EC Providence Helps Expand Rhode Island Pilot Solar Project

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Emerald Cities Providence Local Director Brigid Ryan, who is also a member of the City of Newport Energy and Environment Commission, is teaming up with municipal representatives from the Towns of Middletown and Portsmouth to form Solarize Aquidneck, a program to bring affordable solar energy to the state’s Aquidneck Island community. The three municipalities make up Aquidneck Island.

L-R: Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources Commissioner Marion Gold; Aquidneck Island Planning Commission Executive Director Tom Ardito; EC Providence Director Brigid Ryan; Newport Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano; Middletown Town Council Vice President Robert Kempenaar II; Town of Portsmouth Town Council President Keith Hamilton; and Karen Stuart of SmartPower.The team, led by the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission, successfully applied for the state’s Solarize Rhode Island campaign, which will drive community adoption of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects through a partnership focused on localized marketing and installation efforts.

“A group purchasing model will help drive down the installation cost for small-scale solar PV installations in the participating communities,” Ryan explains. “That’s because aggregation of multiple small-scale solar PV installations within a community allows the solar PV installers to realize economies of scale. This, in turn, leads to reduced customer acquisition costs.”

In the case of Solarize Aquidneck, a tiered installation pricing structure will also reduce costs – the more customers who sign up, the more the installation price will fall. And early adopters will be eligible for rebates when each tier target is reached.

Ryan will work with other community and environmental leaders to educate homeowners on the availability of the program and to promote energy efficiency, clean-energy generation and cost savings for homeowners.

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