Largest community solar project in Rhode Island breaks ground

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Source: TurningPoint Energy/Business Wire

TurningPoint Energy and Nautilus Solar Energy (“Nautilus”), today announced the ground breaking of the King community solar project in North Smithfield, Rhode Island. The project, originally developed by TurningPoint Energy and now owned by Nautilus, is being constructed by DEPCOM Power as part of the State of Rhode Island’s Community Net Metering Pilot Program.

The project represents two solar arrays totaling 12.44 megawatts (AC) of community solar capacity and is expected to be operational and providing a clean energy option to residents in 2020. The project will substantially complete the State of Rhode Island’s Community Net Metering Solar Pilot Program.

The King community solar project abuts the Landfill Resource and Recovery Superfund site that is currently undergoing a long-term remedial response under the oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). TurningPoint Energy and Nautilus have coordinated closely with Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) and EPA representatives to ensure that the project design has considered any potential future remediation which may be required. The project will incorporate environmental measures including a pollinator-friendly seed mix around and underneath the array.

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“Projects like this, which simultaneously clean up our land and make our economy more green, are the future of our state,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “I’m thrilled that once this array is complete, more than 3,000 Rhode Island households will have the option to use clean energy and save money.”

“There are times when property use fits a location like a glove. This effort by Nautilus and TurningPoint Energy is about to do that in stellar fashion. There have been many difficulties to get to this point but the cooperation demonstrated by landowners, neighbors, regulators, and design professionals is bringing an important new use to a challenging location,” said Gary Ezovski, North Smithfield Town Administrator.

This is TurningPoint Energy and Nautilus Solar’s second Rhode Island Community Solar project to break ground as part of the State of Rhode Island’s Community Net Metering Solar Pilot Program, created in 2016, which is focused on providing renewable energy benefits and reducing costs for its residential customers. The Hopkins Hill community solar project broke ground earlier this year. Both projects are planned to be fully operational and providing community solar to Rhode Island residents in 2020.

“We are grateful to the town of North Smithfield, EPA and RIDEM for their collaboration in paving the way for the largest community solar project in Rhode Island,” said Jim Rice, CEO of Nautilus. “We are also appreciative of the hard work that our local partners provided to ensure the overall success of this project.”

“We have worked closely with state and local leadership to bring Rhode Island’s Community Net Metering Solar Pilot Program to life,” said Jared Schoch, President, TurningPoint Energy. “We see huge demand for the subscription of these projects and it’s obvious that this community solar program needs to be expanded to fulfill demand.”

Community solar is unique because it offers a hassle-free way for all residential customers to receive solar energy with zero upfront cost. Renters or urban dwellers that can’t or don’t want to install solar at their property can still reap the benefits of solar energy when they subscribe to a community solar project and reduce their monthly electric bill.

As a renewable energy generation resource, the King community solar project provides the environmental equivalent of planting over 10,500 trees or taking over 1500 cars off the road for the year. The project is providing a direct benefit to the local economy through the creation of over 100 jobs in Rhode Island in the fields of consulting, engineering, construction and related workers. In addition, it is generating significant property tax revenue for the Town of North Smithfield.

Nautilus is the owner of the project and responsible for managing the project, overseeing construction, and maintaining its long-term performance. The project, originally developed by TurningPoint Energy, is being constructed by DEPCOM Power as part of the State of Rhode Island’s Community Net Metering Pilot Program.

Nautilus and Arcadia Power are now enrolling customers in these projects. Spots are limited, so those who are interested should sign up at https://www.arcadiapower.com/lp9-ri/.