Governor McKee, RI Office of Energy Resources and Dept. of Environmental Management Announce Recipients of RI Agricultural Energy Grants

Published on Friday, December 22, 2023

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Dan McKee, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management today (DEM) awarded $256,000 in grants to help farmers “green” their agricultural operations, by reducing carbon footprint while saving money on energy expenses. The awards, funded through the Rhode Island Agricultural Energy Grant Program, will support renewable energy and energy efficiency projects at 14 local farms across the state. This is the largest number of applications received and awarded in one round since the program launched in 2016. 

“Our farmers provide Rhode Islanders with fresh, nutritious foods and local products,” said Governor Dan McKee. “It is important that we continue to support these small businesses through their clean energy transition by providing them with the assistance they may need.” 

“The Agricultural Energy Grant program provides farmers across Rhode Island assistance to help reduce their specific energy requirements and introduce renewable energy onto their farms,” said Acting State Energy Commissioner Chris Kearns. “This program is an essential part of reducing the states carbon emissions and meet the goals in the Act on Climate.” 

“Supporting Rhode Island’s diverse agricultural sector and the development of green energy infrastructure are two major aspects of DEM’s mission, and the Agricultural Energy Grant Program critically supports both,” said DEM Director Terry Gray. “The projects made possible through these grant awards will lower energy costs for local farmers who supply consumers with fresh RI grown food and advance our collective efforts to meet the Act on Climate’s emissions reductions mandates. We congratulate the grant recipients and all the partners who help make our state’s local food system more resilient and sustainable.” 

Fall 2023 funded projects include: 

Bailey Beattie Apiaries: $20,000 

This 6.4 kW solar PV array will generate enough electricity to cover the energy used to process and package the various honey related projects at this family-owned apiary in Warwick. 

Barrington Farm School: $7,176 

This farm school’s solar PV add-on project will offset increased electricity consumption at this community farm in Barrington since they first installed solar in 2018. BFS runs a farm stand and a community composting program, offering educational programs and public service opportunities to the public. 

Bramblenook Farm: $20,000 

This 8.4 kW ground mounted solar PV system will cover all the electric load generated at this farm in North Scituate, who continues to provide locals with healthy and affordable produce. 

Breene Acres Family Farm: $20,000 

This 7.15 kW solar PV array will produce enough energy to cover the current electric load at this family-owned poultry farm in West Greenwich. 

Burgess Homestead: $20,000 

This 4.64 kW solar PV add-on project will help the owners of this historic farm in Foster to restore and expand their operation after installing several energy efficiency measures on the historic farmhouse. Built in 1820, Burgess Homestead serves as an example that the historic integrity of old structures does not need to be compromised by energy efficient and renewable upgrades. 

Hoofprint Farm: $20,000 

This 6.4 kW solar PV array will cover an estimated 63 percent of the current electric usage at this 9.5-acre flower farm in Foster. 

Little River Farm: $20,000 

This 13.6 kW ground mounted solar PV system will help the owners to reduce their carbon footprint at this no-till organic produce farm in Warren. 

Matunuck Shellfish Hatchery: $20,000 

This 31.06 kW solar PV array will offset electricity usage at the Matunuck Shellfish Hatchery in South Kingstown, where shellfish native to New England and RI are grown and harvested for consumption at Matunuck Oyster Bar.  

Ocean State Honey: $20,000 

This 4.16 kW solar PV array will generate enough power to offset the electric loads used to process and package honey and beeswax-based products from 10 different hives located throughout Rhode Island. 

Skye Pechie: $20,000 

The installation of energy storage paired with solar helps to enhance climate resilience measures in the event of a power outage at this subsistence farm in Scituate. 

Southside Community Land Trust: $12,483 

The installation of a ductless heat pump system will provide significantly more efficient heating and cooling, which is home to six separate mixed vegetable market farming operations who work together to manage the property, in cooperation with the Southside Community Land Trust in Providence. 

Stony Brook Farm: $20,000 

This 8.1 kW solar PV array will meet 100 percent of the existing electrical needs for crop irrigation and refrigeration purposes at this berry farm in Exeter. 

Watch Hill Farms: $20,000 

This 15 kW solar PV array will offset 95 percent of the total energy currently used at this historic farm in Westerly, raising honeybees, laying hens and garden produce for wholesale to various retail outlets and local restaurants. 

Water Way Farm: $16,047 

The installation of a mini-split heat pump to replace traditional air conditioning units at this women-owned lavender farm in Barrington, which will dramatically improve the efficiency of heating and cooling for this agribusiness.  

There are more than 1,000 farms throughout Rhode Island, contributing over 2,500 jobs and $235 million to the Rhode Island economy each year. 

Funding for the state's Agricultural Energy Grant program is made possible through Rhode Island’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation's first mandatory, market-based cap, and trade program to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the power sector. 

To read more about how Rhode Island is addressing climate change mitigation and resiliency, please visit: