Charging Ahead with Electric Buses in Rhode Island

Rhode Island and its Northeast neighbors have achieved great reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from power plants since joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in 2009. Unfortunately, emissions from transportation sources are not covered by RGGI and still comprise about 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Rhode Island needs to act urgently to reduce emissions from passenger, commercial, and public transportation fleets. Rhode Island has taken an exciting stride towards cleaner public transportation by leasing three 100% electric buses, slated to enter service in early 2019. The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) showcased the three
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State backs Millstone bid to compete as zero-emissions player in energy auctions

Environmental advocates also have questioned Millstone’s need for state action. Emily Lewis, senior policy analyst at the Acadia Center, a clean energy advocacy group, said Millstone “plays an important role in the energy mix” because it does not produce carbon dioxide. But policymakers should not “throw money at Millstone that could be used for renewables” such as solar and wind power, she said. If and when the plant is retired, the power it generates should be replaced by offshore wind, Lewis said. Read the full article from the Hartford Courant here.

Op-Ed: No panels? No problem. The secret to solar in the city

[…] Instead of buying and installing solar panels on your home or property, you subscribe to a piece of a large local solar project nearby, often along with a few dozen to a few hundred other people who live in the area. A portion of the electricity generated by these projects gets credited directly to your utility bill, you get a discount on electricity, and you don’t have to pay anything to join. Community solar allows households to receive the benefits of solar energy without the cost or hassle of a rooftop installation. Roughly half of residences in the U.S.
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Locational value of DER is essential to grid planning. So why hasn’t anyone found it?

Initially, there was an incentive for customers to build DER at locations where congestion was anticipated, LeBel added. But setting that locational value “has proved to be more administratively complicated than expected and commission staff has proposed eliminating it.” The utilities did “guesstimates and concluded congested locations should get 50% more than other locations,” he said. “They are not coming to terms with the details.” […] Lebel agreed. Getting to that vision “would be a massive change for the utilities,” he said. “But it has happened. It took decades to get from PURPA to restructuring. Maybe, in the 2030s, we will look
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As solar grows in Rhode Island, so does the need for smart siting policies

One of Rhode Island’s newest renewable energy installations is being celebrated as a model of solar siting, repurposing contaminated land that is unlikely to be developed. The solar array’s 6,700 panels spread across 12 acres in North Providence that comprise an old landfill. The rapid expansion of renewable energy projects in Rhode Island – and across the region – is bringing new and pressing land-use challenges. Because of the urgent threat posed by climate change, it is important to accelerate the pace at which clean energy resources replace polluting fossil fuels. At the same time, we must protect Rhode Island’s
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Amid funding cuts, Enfield manufacturer finds energy-efficiency program a worthy investment

Fewer participants have found their way into EnergizeCT programs this year due to a $117 million raid by state lawmakers on the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, which is staked from a sliver of customers’ monthly light bills. The controversial raid, which prompted a lawsuit from the energy-efficiency industry, helped plug a hole in the state’s General Fund budget. However, it also “means Connecticut will do about half the electric efficiency it did in 2017,” according to William Dornbos, advocacy director at Acadia Center, a New England nonprofit promoter of clean, efficient energy use. Read the full article from Hartford Business
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