Renewable Energy Growth Program

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Eligibility: 
Commercial
Industrial
Local Government
Nonprofit
Residential
Schools
State Government
Federal Government
Agricultural
Multifamily Residential
Low Income Residential
Institutional
Savings Category: 
Solar Photovoltaics
Wind (All)
Wave
Wind (Small)
Hydroelectric (Small)
Anaerobic Digestion
Maximum Rebate: 

Varies with system size, technology and geographic load zone.

Program Info
Sector Name: 
State
Administrator: 
National Grid
Expiration Date: 

12/31/2029

State: 
Rhode Island
Program Type: 
Performance-Based Incentive
Rebate Amount: 

Incentives will vary depending on the type of resource, the size of the system, and the geographic load zone area of the installation.

Solar is grouped into four categories based on size:
Small scale solar projects: up to 25kW
Medium scale solar projects: 25kW to 250 kW
Commercial scale solar projects: 250 kW to 1 MW
Large scale solar projects: 1 MW to 5 MW

Wind is grouped into two categories based on size:
Medium: 1.5 MW- 3 MW
Large: 3 MW- 5 MW

Anaerobic Digestion
Medium: 150 kW- 500 kW
Large: 501 kW- 1,000 kW

Small Scale Hydropower
Small: 10kW - 250 kW
Medium: 251 kW- 1,000 kW

Summary: 

NOTE: S.B. 112A enacted in June 2017 extended the program to the end of 2029, and increased the annual target to 40 MW per year with a total cumulative procurement of 400 MW of renewable energy between 2020 and 2029. 

In 2014, Act H 7727 created the Renewable Energy Growth (REG) program with the goal to promote installation of grid connected renewable energy within the load zones of electric distribution companies (EDCs) at a reasonable cost. This tariff-based  incentive program is designed to finance the development, construction, and operation of renewable energy distributed generation projects through competitive bidding processes over 5 years to achieve specific megawatt (MW) targets. This program is implemented by the EDCs under supervision and review of the Public Utility Commission (PUC).

For the period of at least 5 years, the EDCs shall file tariffs with the PUC that are designed to provide multi year performance based  incentives to eligible renewable distributed generation projects. Tariffs shall be developed by the EDCs and will be reviewed and approved by the PUC. Proposed tariffs shall include a ceiling price and term lengths that shall be from 15 to 20 years. After being approved by the PUC, the terms under the tariffs shall not be altered in any way that would undermine the reliance of those tariffs. 

Program Goal
The REG program has target install total of 160 MW of distributed renewable energy during its 5 year term. The first year of the program (2015) has an  annual target of 25 MW, 40 MW for second year, 40 MW for third and fourth year, and rest of the 160 MW for the fifth year. There is also an annual target of at least 3 MW for small scale solar projects for first 4 years of the program. In 2017, SB 112A extended the program to the end of 2029, and increased the annual target to 40 MW per year with a total cumulative procurement of 400 MW of renewable energy between 2020 and 2029. 

Program Description

Small-scale Solar Program provides incentives for systems up to 25 KW and are designed for residential and small business owners. Applicants can enroll via the interconnection application to receive a standard performance based incentive for the period of years in an applicable tariff. The incentives depend on the size and ownership of the system, and the duration of the contract term. The incentives will be provided on a first come, first served basis until the program reaches its target of 5.5 MW capacity.

The RI Public Utility Commission has approved the solar incentive for National Grid for 2016. The program will begin accepting applications starting April 1st, 2016. Incentive amounts are listed in the table below

Renewable Energy Class
(Nameplate kW)
Annual
Enrollment
Target
(Nameplate MW)
Ceiling Price/Standard PBI
(cents/kWh)
         
Small-Scale Solar – Host
Owned
(1-10 kW DC)
5.5 37.65 (15-yr Tariff)
Small-Scale Solar – Host
Owned
(1-10 kW DC)
33.45 (20-yr Tariff)
Small-Scale Solar – 3rd
Party Owner
(1-10 kW DC)
28.35 (15-yr Tariff)
24.70 (20-yr Tariff)
Small-Scale Solar
(11-25 kW DC)
24.90 (20-yr Tariff)

Commercial scale solar projects and all other eligible technologies program: The program is directed towards non-residential customers who are interested in installing qualifying distributed generation project in their facility. Eligible technologies include Solar PV, wind, anaerobic digestion, and small-scale hydropower. To participate in the program interested applicants must submit a bid a price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the entire output of the facility, which shall not exceed the ceiling price. Any participant that is purchasing electricity on other than the residential retail rate are eligible to apply for the program. The EDC will select projects based on the lowest proposed prices, time of completion of the project until the target capacity of that class is met. In order incentivize renewable distributed generation projects, the EDC may include an incentive payment adder to the bid price of any winning bidder that propose a distributed generation project in a desired geographical load area. The 2016 the enrollment period starts on April 18, 2016 until April 29, 2016. 

The REG program shall be administered exclusively through the tariff structure and the EDC is not required to execute a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the procurement of the renewable energy for the program. Incentives for eligible solar, wind, hydro, and anaerobic digester projects is provided in the table below:

Renewable Energy Class
(Nameplate KW)
Annual Enrollment
Target (Nameplate MW)
Standard PBI applicable to
Medium-Scale Solar only
(including ITC/PTC & Bonus
Depreciation) (cents/kWh)
Ceiling price (including
ITC/PTC & Bonus Depreciation)
(cents/kWh)
Term of Service
(years)
Medium-Scale Solar,
(26-250 kW DC)
5 22.55 N/A 20
Commercial-Scale Solar,
(251-999 kW DC)
8 N/A 19.30 20
Large-Scale Solar,
(1,000-5,000 kW DC)
11 N/A 15.10 20
Wind,
(1,500-2,999 kW),
(3,000-5,000 kW,2-turbine),
(3,000-5,000 kW;,3-turbine)
9 N/A 18.75
18.00
17.40
20
Anaerobic Digestion,
(150- 500 kW,
501- 1,000 kW)
1.5 (Anaerobic Digestion
plus Small Hydro)
N/A 20.00
20.00
20
Small-Scale Hydropower,
(10-250 kW),
(251-1,000 kW)
1.5 (Anaerobic Digestion
plus Small Hydro)
N/A 18.65
17.45
20

Bonus incentives from SolarWise Program: Beginning from 2016, the Renewable Growth Program includes SolarWise program which provides additional incentives to customers who choose to install solar PV systems in conjunction with making significant investments in energy efficiency in their homes or businesses. Applications for the program must be received and approved before the end of program year on March 31, 2017 to be eligible for 2016 awards. 

The SolarWise program combines the National Grid’s Energy Efficiency program with the Renewable Energy Growth program. Interested participants may request for a solar PV screening at no cost as a part of the National Grid’s Energy Efficiency assessment. The Energy Efficiency assessment will identify list of potential energy savings, solar PV screening, and access to the online SolarWise Marketplace- the applicant can request and compare offers from independent solar installation companies. 

Solar PV systems must be sized such that the maximum annual (kWh) output is not greater than the 3 year historic annual average electric (kWh) usage at the customer’s location minus the estimated annual energy savings (kWh) from the energy efficiency measure.

For Example: If a residential customer used an average of 10,000 kWh per year for the last three years, and it implemented 2,000 kWh of projected energy efficiency savings, then the solar PV system must be sized to produce no more than (10,000 – 2,000= 8,000 kWh) of energy in a year. 

The incentives for the SolarWise projects are classified into Tiers based on the additional energy savings. Each Tier receive additional percentage increase in the performance based component of the RE Growth Program Incentive. The award criteria for each of the Tiers is provided in the table below:

SolarWise Tier RE Growth Program Performance Based
Incentive Percentage Increase
Tier One 5%
Tier Two 10%
Tier One- Small Solar
Third Party Owned (TPO)
2%
Tier Two- Small Solar
Third Party Owned (TPO)
4%

H.B. 8534 enacted on July 2016 added a virtual net metering Shared Solar Facilities program as the part of the Renewable Energy Growth program. The program seeks to facilitate solar adoption in multifamily, campuses, multi-structure, business parks, multi-tenant, multi-owner commercial facilities, and public entities with multiple accounts. The program will be available for adoption after the RI Public Utilties Commission approves the program tariff submitted by the utility. 

Please visit the program webpage for additional information.