January 20 (Renewables Now) - The governor of Rhode Island Gina M Raimondo on Friday signed an executive order that directs the state to source 100% of its power from renewable energy sources by 2030.
While Rhode Island is not the first state to do so, it is the first setting such a tight schedule. "When we meet this goal, Rhode Island will be the first state in America to be powered by 100% renewable electricity," the governor said, calling for the adoption of an aggressive plan to fight climate change.
To implement the plan, the state’s Office of Energy Resources will have to make an economic and energy market assessment and develop appropriate policies and programmes to ensure the goal is achieved within the set timeline. The analysis will be conducted over the coming months, with stakeholder participation as “a key component” of the task, the statement says. A final report is due to be prepared by December 31, 2020.
Nicholas Ucci, acting state energy commissioner, noted that Rhode Island is already on track to meet more than 33% of its electricity demand with renewables within a few years. The state is also on track to reach a goal set in 2017 to accelerate its clean energy supply ten-fold by 2020.
Rhode Island is home to the US' first offshore wind farm, the 30-MW Block Island plant, which entered into service in December 2016.