The Resilient Rhode Island Act mandates that Rhode Island take active steps to mitigate and reduce the impacts of climate change. The Act passed in 2014 with widespread support from the environmental and clean energy communities, including People’s Power & Light.
The 2016 legislative session wrapped up on June 18. People’s Power & Light (PP&L) was a regular advocate at the Rhode Island State House and a supportive voice of key energy policies. Renewable energy certainly achieved some major wins this year, but other policies will have to try to earn passage again next session.
The City of Providence is actively improving a plan to become more sustainable in several sectors, and PP&L is thrilled that the recent topic for open review was energy. The “Sustainable Providence” plan was spearheaded by the Office of Sustainability and the Environmental Sustainability Task Force. The old plan is being revitalized as “SustainPVD” by Mayor Jorge Elorza and new Sustainability Director Leah Bamberger. The revision process is open to the public and all interested are encouraged to engage in the development.
The warmer weather and blossoms on Smith Hill are evidence we’re in the heat of the Rhode Island legislative session. People’s Power & Light (PP&L) has invited key policy makers, including General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, to our upcoming Annual Meeting May 13th. The evening is an opportunity for energy professionals and friends to learn about key policies PP&L supports. Rhode Island continues to make meaningful progress in green infrastructure, but there is more work to be done.
We like to keep our members and the general public updated on renewable energy progress in New England. Our green power updates will tell you a little more about what’s going on in renewable energy construction. All of these up-and-coming projects are being supported by Mass Energy/People’s Power & Light members!
We’ll celebrate at Berkshire East Ski Resort & Canopy Tours on July 27th, and you’re invited.
Coming up on July 27th is Mass Energy and People’s Power & Light’s 4th annual Berkshire East Wind Turbine Festival in Charlemont, MA (get your tickets here). Local wind turbine power at Berkshire East is a huge success story—it literally helped keep this family-run ski and zip-lining resort from shutting its doors. Mass Energy/PP&L was able to play a role in Berkshire East’s success by contracting to purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs) from their local wind turbine long-term.
Thanks to a 4-2 vote of the Town Council on June 3, there is a good chance for the Portsmouth, RI local wind turbine to spin again. And if everything falls into place, Portsmouth will once again become part of People’s Power & Light/Mass Energy’s green power portfolio as early as September 2014.
On May 6th, our members and friends gathered at the beautiful Roger Williams Park Casino in Providence for People’s Power & Light (PP&L)’s 12th Annual Meeting (check out photos here). To kick off the speaking part of the evening, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse congratulated PP&L via video from Washington, DC.
Rhode Island was one of the first states in the country to establish a renewable energy standard, a requirement for electricity suppliers to include an increasing percentage of power from sources such as local wind turbines and solar. The standard has worked well, changing the mix that Rhode Islanders get, whether they purchase from National Grid or through a competitive supplier. The standard is scheduled to increase by 1 or 1.5% per year. However, we were disappointed in December to learn that the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), appointees of Governor Chafee, voted 2–1 to delay a scheduled increase in the state’s requirement. What it means, very simply, is less renewable energy purchased by Rhode Islanders. And that means less green power on the New England grid because generators cannot get financing to build projects unless there is sufficient demand.