Newport Wastewater Treatment Facility adds 7 solar PV systems to its operations

Published Date
March 2023

The Newport Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) is located along the J.T. Connell Highway, about 1,000 feet inland from the Newport coast. The Newport facility serves 41,600 customers and treats an average of 8.4 million gallons of wastewater per day. Newport’s system also treats stormwater runoff during rain events with a capacity up to 19.7 million gallons per day.

Newport Wastewater Treatment Facility
Newport Wastewater Treatment Facility

The Newport WWTF recently completed a renewable energy project. It installed four roof mounted solar systems, two carports, and one ground mounted solar farm. All these systems were interconnected in 2020.

The project totaled 790 solar panels with an estimated annual energy savings of 328,000 kWh annually. This is enough energy to power 55 homes in Rhode Island.

Clean energy projects are essential for meeting the State’s climate goals. Solar installations do not require any fossil fuel inputs, so they do not emit greenhouse gases or other harmful pollutants. The widespread adoption of solar will help to reduce the environmental burden of personal, industrial, and commercial processes which rely on electricity generated by the burning of fossil fuels.

The total cost of the seven PV projects before incentives was $1,861,962. Newport WWTF received a $227,286 Renewable Energy Fund grant. It also received funding from Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (RIIB) from the Efficient Buildings Fund (EBF) and its Wastewater program. The DEM wastewater department helps to regulate the Newport WWTF.