Narragansett Bay Commission Adding Solar, Will Be Nearly 100% Renewable

Thursday, August 31, 2017
GoLocalProv Business Team

Chairman Mesolella
The Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC) is moving towards a 100 percent usage of renewable energy sources for its own source of energy. 

NBC has signed an agreement with Green Development, Inc. (formerly Wind Energy Development, Inc.) to construct two solar energy farms to enhance the NBC’s sustainable energy portfolio. The two solar projects, a 4.24 MV array in Coventry, Rhode Island, and a 5.45 MW array in Richmond, RI, will complement the NBC’s six existing 1.5 MW wind turbines.

Over twenty-five years, the solar projects will save over $18 million in electric costs from selling renewable energy credits and offset an estimated 110,092 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents.

Recently, NBC Board of Commissioners approved the project. The move is in keeping with the NBC Chairman Vincent Mesolella’s commitment to pursue full reliance on renewable forms of energy by 2020.

After extensive review and evaluation by NBC staff and an independent expert, Green Development, Inc., based in North Kingstown, RI, was determined to have a superior submission in a competitive request for qualifications and proposal (RFQ/P) process.

The NBC is able to receive benefits from off-site generation of renewable energy due to Rhode Island’s net metering law, passed by the RI General Assembly in 2016. The NBC is Rhode Island’s largest wastewater treatment authority and was one of only 60 utilities worldwide to be named a Utility of the Future in 2017.

In addition to the solar projects and the existing wind turbines, the NBC is currently in construction of a 600kW Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engine that will operate on renewable biogas (a by-product of the wastewater treatment process) at the Bucklin Point Wastewater Treatment Facility in East Providence.

“The NBC will essentially achieve net zero energy use with these projects,” said NBC Chairman Mesolella. “We’re proud to say that we lead the nation in renewables.”

The Richmond project will go on-line by the end of 2017. The Coventry project will follow in spring 2018 and the biogas project in summer of 2018.

“The dollars we save on energy can help buffer the other costs the NBC must undertake to meet our clean water mandates,” Mesolella said. “The projects benefit both the environment and our ratepayers and make our state a better place to live, work, and enjoy.”

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