Here we showcase the inspiring stories of people and organizations in Rhode Island who are adopting clean energy.

The OER Public School Energy Equity Program

The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources Public School Energy Equity Program aims to provide essential support to underserved public schools in Rhode Island by implementing energy-saving measures that improve building occupants' health, safety, and comfort while also reducing energy costs. This will contribute to the state's Act on Climate law, which mandates economy-wide greenhouse gas reduction targets leading to net-zero emissions by 2050.

Jamestown Public Schools: OER Lead by Example Clean Energy Award Recipient 2023

Jamestown Public Schools received a Lead by Example Clean Energy Award from the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources on May 9, 2023, for implementing multiple clean energy projects throughout the year. The first project was installing two solar arrays, and a carport solar canopy at the Melrose Elementary School and a solar roof array at the Lawn Middle School. Together these solar projects will offset 84 percent electricity for the school district annually, making the Jamestown School Department the first district in the state to achieve this renewable energy benchmark. The total cost of this project was $1.03 million using $799,000 funds from the School Bonds and the remainder covered from the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund. Additionally, both schools have updated their ventilation systems to provide healthier indoor air quality and improve the comfort and health of students and faculty.

RI State Police: OER Lead by Example Clean Energy Award Recipient 2023

The Rhode Island State Police received a Lead by Example Clean Energy Award from the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources on May 9, 2023, for implementing completing a comprehensive lighting and controls retrofit at the Rhode Island State Police Public Safety Complex. After completing these energy efficiency upgrades, the State Police facilities are now 100 percent LED. These energy reductions will save the State over $45,000 per year in energy costs. The agency also upgraded its HVAC system with a heat pump and installed insulation at the training academy barracks, drastically improving the comfort, efficiency, and operations of this critical facility. This project's energy savings are estimated to result in nearly 200,000 pounds of avoided CO2 per year, taking another substantial step towards helping the State achieve the goals outlined in the 2021 Act on Climate.

North Kingstown: OER Lead by Example Clean Energy Award Recipient 2023

The Town of North Kingstown received a Lead by Example Clean Energy Award from the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources on May 9, 2023, for implementing several significant energy efficiency and clean energy transportation projects. One of the major initiatives involved converting all 2,500 streetlights to LED. The town also made upgrades to the Historic Town Hall, first built in 1884, which includes a new HVAC system, temperature controls, and low-emissivity replacement windows, as well as HVAC upgrades at several other public safety buildings. Additionally, the town was able to install EV charging stations at the highly utilized municipal golf course. These projects will result in significant cost and energy savings as well as improve safety and comfort.

Compass School transforms abandoned barn into a schoolhouse with help from OER

The Compass School, located in Kingston, Rhode Island, is a public K-8th grade charter school. It was founded in 2002 by a group of parents who desired an environment where their children would be challenged to become problem solvers, critical thinkers, and life long learners. Compass School received a $500,000 award from the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources to help renovate an abandoned seed barn and transform it into a state-of-the-art schoolhouse, using the latest in energy efficiency technology.

Pascoag Utility District installs first grid-scale battery system in Rhode Island

Pascoag Utility District (PUD) has installed Rhode Island’s first utility-scale battery storage facility. PUD worked with Agilitas Energy to design, install, and operate the 3 MW battery facility on a leased industrial site in Pascoag. By installing the battery system, the PUD was able to avoid paying up to $12 million in grid infrastructure upgrades. This is an excellent example of how energy storage can eliminate the need for extra electricity transmission infrastructure, such as poles and wires.

RI Army National Guard: Leading by example with clean energy

The Rhode Island Army National Guard (RIARNG) has installed a rooftop solar array on the 56 Troop Command Armory Building at Camp Fogarty in East Greenwich. Marissa Pereira, energy program manager for RIARNG, discusses the project and her process of working with the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources to procure funding and technical assistance. At 207kW, this solar array is the second largest on a state facility in Rhode Island. Newport Renewables performed the installation.

RI State Employees: How to Use State Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

For Rhode Island state employees, this video demonstrates the steps required to operate electric vehicle charging stations located at state facilities.

Verde Vineyards: A Clean Energy Story

Verde Vineyards, located in Johnston, Rhode Island, is unique for its traditional wine making techniques, hand-picked grapes, open fermentation and oak barrel aging. Jim Verde opened the farm after retiring from his job as a teacher, turning his passion for winemaking into a business. Mr. Verde has implemented three different clean energy projects: a 10.56 kW ground mounted solar system, a 40 kWh battery back-up system and geothermal heat pumps. As a result of these systems working together, the farm is 100% powered by renewable energy. Mr. Verde no longer worries when the power goes out – the batteries automatically turn on and keeps the wine cool and the lights on without any intervention.

Clean Energy Profile: Legend's Creek Farm goes green

Legend’s Creek Farm, located in Foster, Rhode Island, is popular for its goat milk soap and other personal care products. To help save energy, the owners installed energy efficient closed cell foam insulation and new double-pane windows. The farm received combined grants for over $38,000 to install 59 solar panels, which produce nearly 100 percent of its annual energy use.