PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced $ 117,876 in grants to help farmers “green” their operations and save money energy and money. The awards, funded by the Rhode Island Agricultural Energy Grant Program, will support solar and energy efficiency projects at six local farms across the state.
“Our farmers provide the people of Rhode Island with nutritious, locally grown foods and other local produce, improving our quality of life,” said Governor Daniel McKee. “Supporting them and helping our local agricultural economy thrive is essential for us. I am delighted to announce a new round of grants to help these farms convert their operations to clean energy, so that we can help reduce the burden of their energy bills while reducing their carbon emissions.
“Last April, thanks to the leadership of Governor McKee and the General Assembly, Rhode Island adopted mandatory economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets that pave the way for net zero emissions by 2050, ”said State Energy Commissioner Nicholas Ucci. “The Farm Energy Subsidy Program helps farms meet their unique operational and energy needs while reducing utility costs and reducing the carbon footprint. With these significant investments, our farms are not only making informed decisions for their businesses, but also contributing to Rhode Island’s efforts to combat climate change. “
“We congratulate our grant recipients and all partners in our vital and vibrant agricultural sector for their efforts to bring clean, reliable and affordable renewable energy to Rhode Island farms,” said Terry Gray, acting director of DEM. “Farm energy subsidies are helping farm families grow their businesses and do their part to make our state cleaner and greener. “
Projects funded in the summer of 2021 include:
Skydog Farm – North Scituate, price $ 17,876
The 8.8 kW rooftop solar project will offset more than a third of the energy consumption of this small-scale commercial greenhouse.
Wild Harmony Farm – Exeter, $ 20,000 reward
The rooftop-mounted 31.96 kW solar panel will help this business – Rhode Island’s only certified organic livestock farm – save $ 238,156 in lifetime energy costs.
Ninigret Pond Oyster Farm – Charlestown, price of $ 20,000
The 37.38 kW rooftop solar panel will offset 68 percent of the energy consumption of this oyster farm operation.
Matunuck Oyster Farm – Wakefield, Price $ 20,000
The 44.5 kW ground-mounted solar panel will offset 100 percent of the energy consumption for this aquaculture and vegetable restoration operation.
Burgess Homestead – Foster, $ 20,000 Reward
The 12.24 kW ground-based solar project will offset 100 percent of the energy used by this historic family farm and apple orchard operation.
Pépinières Franlart – Little Compton, Price $ 20,000
The 3.06kW ground-mounted solar panel will offset almost 100 percent of the energy consumption of this large tree and shrub nursery.
One of the winners of the 2019 program, Verde Vineyards, located in Johnston, was recently the subject of a video by the Office of Energy Resources for the implementation of three different clean energy projects: a solar system 10.56 kW ground level, a 40 kWh back-up battery system and a geothermal heat pump system. Thanks to the interaction of these systems, the farm is powered 100% by renewable energy. The video can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/KGgyi1RyWIg.
There are over 1,000 farms scattered throughout Rhode Island, contributing more than 2,500 jobs and $ 235 million to Rhode Island’s economy each year.
Funding for the state’s farm energy subsidy program is made possible through Rhode Island’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the first mandatory market-based cap-and-trade program aimed at reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity sector. .
To learn more about how Rhode Island is approaching climate change mitigation and resilience, please visit: http://climatechange.ri.gov.