February 7 (Renewables Now) - The US state of Rhode Island plans to issue by this summer a solicitation for the construction of up to 400 MW of solar, wind and other clean energy facilities.
The move is part of the state’s efforts to achieve its goal of having 1,000 GW of clean energy capacity by 2020, set in March 2017, and make its energy system 10 times cleaner. The state currently has 230 MW of installed renewable energy capacity, which has increased from 100 MW since it announced the mandate, government Gina M Raimondo said in a press release on Tuesday.
As part of the plan, the state’s Office of Energy Resources will collaborate with local utilities to devise the 400-MW request for proposals (RfP). Specific details about the solicitation will be available at a later date.
“This competitive RFP will help to deliver more clean energy for Rhode Island at the lowest market rates, which will protect ratepayers’ wallets,” commented Macky McCleary, administrator of the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers.
According to governor Raimondo, the "1,000 by '20" goal will address critical climate change issues and open 20,000 new jobs in Rhode Island. She went on to say that since 2014 the state has added more than 5,000 green job positions, marking a 66% increase.
Rhode Island is the first and currently the only US state with an operational offshore wind farm, namely the 30-MW Block Island plant that was developed by Deepwater Wind. The five-turbine park entered into service in December 2016.