Solect Energy, the leading full-service commercial-scale solar company in Massachusetts, announced today that the company is expanding its business into the state of Rhode Island. Solect has operated as a solar developer, installer and services provider in Massachusetts since 2009, and has completed a number of projects in Rhode Island to date. The company will maintain its presence in the Commonwealth while pursuing new projects in the Ocean State as a licensed Rhode Island solar provider.
“We are optimistic and excited about the opportunities for Solect to expand our footprint as Rhode Island expands its commitment to solar energy,” said Craig Huntley, Chief Development Officer and Co-Founder of Solect Energy. “The state has made major strides in its solar policies in the past year, and the market is poised for growth. We are eager to play a part in establishing a significant solar presence in the state, while helping businesses, municipalities and non-profit organizations reduce electricity costs with solar energy”
This announcement comes just after the state of Rhode Island announced the renewal of state renewable energy initiatives, including incentives for solar installations, anticipated to take effect in April of 2016. Currently, Rhode Island offers businesses, municipalities, public entities, and non-profits two solar incentive programs; the Renewable Energy Growth (REG) program and the Renewable Energy Fund (REF). The National-Grid sponsored REG program is a 20-year feed-in tariff program designed to compensate solar producers at a fixed rate over the life of the system, while the state-sponsored REF helps qualified solar array owners partially finance their system through grants. Both the REG and REF programs have been extended through 2022. It stands in contrast to Massachusetts, which has been unable to come to terms on renewing key solar incentive programs.
“We’re ready to seize these new opportunities in the Ocean State,” said Joseph Fraioli, recently hired by Solect as the business development director for Rhode Island, to advise businesses, municipalities and non-profit organizations seeking to reduce operating costs with solar energy.
Fraioli brings more than three decades of experience in the real estate and construction industries. As a lifelong resident of Rhode Island, he has served as a Principal of EarthCoupler Renewables, and as an active member of several community based organizations aimed at promoting renewable energy development Fraioli has vast knowledge of the renewable energy sectors throughout the state.
In addition to its existing incentive programs, proposed legislation currently on the floor of the RI state house could make the state a regional leader in solar policy. Both the renewed and proposed policies are designed to help the Ocean State achieve its Renewable Energy Standard (RES) goal requiring utilities to obtain 14.5% of electricity sold from renewable energy sources by 2019.
Massachusetts has benefitted significantly from solar growth; solar in the Commonwealth has brought over 15,000 new jobs, billions of dollars of investment, and over 1,000 Megawatts of clean energy capacity to the state. With its new, robust incentive programs, Rhode Island has positioned itself to benefit in similar ways, both on a state level through enhanced employment rates and economic growth, and at the individual business level through reduced operating costs and energy price stability.
“We have been able to grow our presence in Massachusetts from three guys and a laptop in 2009 to a top-ranking solar company in 2016,” said Huntley. “It will be exciting to apply our strategy for growth in a new market and help the state of Rhode Island solidify its commitment to solar energy and meet its aggressive renewable energy goals.”