TurningPoint Energy and Nautilus Solar announced plans for two Rhode Island community solar power plants, representing 19.1 MWac of community solar capacity. The 6.68-MW Hopkins Hill project in West Greenwich is fully developed and expected to be operational in Q1 2020 and the 12.42-MW King project in North Smithfield is expected to be operational by the end of 2020.
These projects were fully developed by TurningPoint Energy as part of the State of Rhode Island’s Community Net Metering Solar Pilot Program, created in 2016, which is focused on providing renewable energy benefits and reducing costs for its residential customers.
Nautilus Solar will be responsible for the project management, long-term asset management and maintenance services for the projects.
“Community solar is a great option for people who do not have access to solar power, such as those who may not have a suitable roof for panels, renters, or low-to-moderate income earners,” said State Energy Commissioner, Carol Grant. “Through community programs like these, now most Rhode Islanders have access to clean power at rates that are often lower than what they are paying now.”
The developers will plant pollinator-friendly ground cover to create habitat for bees, birds, small mammals and other wildlife at the site, and the solar projects will create more than 200 jobs.
DEPCOM Power, the EPC hired to build the projects, plans to commence full construction of the Hopkins Hill project in the summer of 2019 and civil construction for the King projects is anticipated to start in Summer 2019, as well.
“These projects demonstrate collective community solar pioneering and leadership by the State of Rhode Island, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), the towns of West Greenwich and North Smithfield, and TurningPoint Energy,” said Jared Schoch, president of TurningPoint Energy. “These well-planned, well-sited and well-developed solar projects are now open for subscribers and will soon be completed successfully as part of Rhode Island’s pilot program for community solar.”
The King Project abuts the Landfill Resource and Recovery Superfund site that is currently undergoing a long-term remedial response from the Environmental Protection Agency. TurningPoint Energy, Nautilus Solar and DEPCOM Power have coordinated closely with RIDEM and EPA representatives to ensure that the project design has considered any potential future remediation which may be required.
The Hopkins Hill Project is located in a rural area within West Greenwich. It will sell power to residents in West Greenwich as well as other residents in the state. The project also incorporates a number of environmental benefits including sponsorship of two the University of Rhode Island Watershed Watch water quality monitoring sites for the duration of the project, along the tributaries to Fisherville Brook. The site will be swept for turtles prior to construction and will include wildlife-friendly fencing.
News item from TurningPoint Energy