Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC, a leading national solar acquisition, development, and asset management company, yesterday announced the opening of Rhode Island's first operational community solar project under the state's Community Remote Net Metering Pilot Program. Located in Burrillville, RI, the 3.307 megawatts (MW) community solar garden will provide community access to solar power without the need to install solar panels on their roof.
"Today, we are celebrating the launch of the first community solar project in Rhode Island, which makes affordable solar power accessible to more people," said State Energy Commissioner, Carol Grant. "The state's community solar program allows most Rhode Islanders, who want to reduce their carbon emissions but who cannot install solar panels on their own homes, to purchase solar power at a rate lower than what they are paying now for standard offer service. This is the first of several projects expected to come online in the months ahead, giving National Grid customers more options to switch to clean energy."
Utilizing its full-service platform, Nautilus Solar is responsible for the project management, long-term asset management, and maintenance services for the projects. Engineered by ConEd Solutions, the project was fully developed by ISM Solar Development, LLC, of East Providence, RI, a leading and innovative national solar developer, and is 100% subscribed with over 700 residential customers through Acadia Power.
"It is exciting to be a part of this first step for community solar in Rhode Island and to continue the great work of ISM Solar," said Nautilus Solar CEO, Jim Rice. "These projects symbolize Nautilus's commitment to provide easy access to community solar for customers across Rhode Island."
"Our team is excited to bring this historic project online for the state of Rhode Island," Greg Lucini, CEO of ISM Solar Development, LLC said. "Thanks to the hard work of so many we are able to celebrate a solar energy success that will benefit our entire community."
Officially opened in August 2019, the community garden incorporates ground mounted fixed-tilt installations. The system will produce 145 gigawatt hours (GWh) over 35 years. The energy generated by the project will directly benefit qualified residential off-takers situated within National Grid's service territory by providing energy cost savings while also advancing Rhode Island's overall renewable energy goals.
"The goal of community solar has always been to make it possible for anyone to access clean energy savings, but the user experience has traditionally been anything but seamless," said Kiran Bhatraju, CEO of Arcadia Power. "We're thrilled to be celebrating the completion of this project by ISM Solar and Nautilus, and to be providing hassle-free community solar to Arcadia Power members in Rhode Island."
Arcadia Power makes it easier than ever to sign up for community solar with a free two-minute sign up, no credit checks or fees, guaranteed savings, and added benefits like wind energy and impact tracking. Anyone in Rhode Island can enroll in the new project by creating an Arcadia Power account at www.arcadiapower.com/community-solar/rhode-island/.
The Rhode Island Community Remote Net Metering Pilot Program, created in 2016, focuses on providing renewable energy benefits and reducing costs for its residential customers. Community solar is unique because it offers a hassle-free way for residential customers to adopt solar energy by subscribing to a local project. Residents who had previously been unable to participate in solar energy due to their own site constraints can now enroll with zero upfront cost and without the need to install a system on their home.
While the Burrillville site is the first to go live, Nautilus currently manages a portfolio of projects in Rhode Island, representing 22.20 MW (total) of community solar capacity. The 6.68MW Hopkins Hill project in West Greenwich is fully developed and expected to be operational by early Q1 2020, the 12.42MW King project in North Smithfield is expected to be operational by the end of 2020, and the 3.10 MW Beacon project in Cranston is expected to be operational Q3 2020. Arcadia Power is now enrolling customers for all three projects.
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