Office of Energy Resources Announces Funding Opportunity for Schools

WARWICK, RI – On December 9, 2014, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) announced the release of a request for proposals (RFP) for $1.3 million in funding available for schools to install solar energy systems. The event took place at Rocky Hill School, which recently installed a solar energy system with funding from the OER and the Renewable Energy Fund at Commerce RI.

“We are excited to announce the opening of this $1.3 million program to support solar on schools” said OER Commissioner Marion Gold. “It is especially fitting that we celebrate next to a new solar installation at Rocky Hill School. The additional funds we are announcing today will allow schools across Rhode Island to join Rocky Hill School in saving money on electricity while providing a living laboratory for the students and educators.”

The Office of Energy Resource provided a $104,000 grant, which Rocky Hill School leveraged with a $32,191 grant from Commerce RI’s Renewable Energy Fund. The school installed 120 photovoltaic panels, which will generate approximately 20% of the Alan F. Flynn Academic Center’s annual electricity consumption. The system was installed by a Newport Renewables, Rhode Island-based renewable energy design/build firm.

“We are excited to benefit from these solar panels on our largest building, as they contribute to Rocky Hill School’s overall sustainability goals and environmental education programs,” said Peter Branch, head of school. “We are also proud to see the project installation led by Stuart Flanagan, a 2005 graduate of Rocky Hill School.”

“The successful and expansive solar project completed at Rocky Hill School is a shining example of what can be accomplished when public agencies and private entities form a collaborative partnership,” said Commerce RI Executive Director Marcel A. Valois. “Both education and renewable energy play an important part in economic development.”

The solar funding announced today is provided from the state’s proceeds from participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is the first cap-and-trade program in the country designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector. Rhode Island participates along with Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. States receive proceeds from pollution auctions, which they reinvest in energy efficiency, renewable energy and other clean energy programs.

Schools can find the RFP on the Office of Energy Resources website (www.energy.ri.gov). Any questions can be directed to Chris Kearns, Chief Program Development at the Office of Energy Resources.

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