Learn About Solar

Solar in Rhode Island

Many technologies can harness the energy produced by the sun. The simplest application of solar power, called passive solar, uses building design principles to collect, store, and distribute solar energy as heat. More complex, active solar systems can generate heat for water or space heating (solar thermal), or produce electricity directly from sunlight using receptor panels (photovoltaics, or PV).

In Rhode Island, solar PV systems are in place throughout the state on residences, public and municipal buildings, businesses, non-profits, and commercial properties. At various times during the past decade, state tax credits and/or rebates supported the development of limited numbers of solar systems in the state. In recent years, the prospects for Rhode Island’s solar market improved with the creation of the Distributed Generation (DG) Standard Contracts Program and the Renewable Energy Growth (REG) Program. These programs are leading to a dramatic increase in the number of solar systems constructed in the state. As of December 2016, the Ocean State had an installed solar PV capacity of approximately 37 MW, with 2,105 known installations.