Just less than 140 megawatts of operational renewable energy projects currently exist across Rhode Island, mostly from solar and wind. However, Gov. Gina Raimondo wants to see more – much more – clean energy across the Ocean State in a very short amount of time.
At Quonset Business Park, in front of various business, state and local government officials, Raimondo March 1 announced a goal for Rhode Island to adopt and develop 1,000 megawatts of clean energy resources – close to 10 times the amount the state is currently producing – by the year 2020.
Appearing alongside Frank Epps of Energy Development Partners LLC and state Office of Energy Resources Commissioner Carol Grant, Raimondo, in addition to setting the bar high for renewable energy in Rhode Island, asked people across the state to recognize climate change as a “reality” and think about investing in clean energy through programs that are available.
“We live in the Ocean State and we are uniquely vulnerable to the challenges that climate change presents,” she said. “Super storms, rising sea levels, we all know it. The only silver lining in this is – if we come together to respond to the challenge of climate change, we can meet the challenge.”
Raimondo also said more renewable energy will create more jobs for the state. She believes the state can go from 14,000 green energy jobs currently to 20,000 by the end of 2020.
The groundwork for clean energy is already in place at various locations around the state, including locally. Quonset Development Corp. has entered into an agreement with Energy Development Partners LLC to build solar panels across two 200,000-square-foot building roofs in West Davisville, as well as adding 170 kilowatts to the 500-kilowatt Narragansett ground solar array on Davisville Road, QDC Managing Director Steven King said March 1.