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The U.S. Department of Energy and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center are excited to announce that a new, modernized DSIRE is under construction. The new version of DSIRE will offer significant improvements over the current version, including expanded data accessibility and an array of new tools for site users. The new DSIRE site will be available in December 2014. Staff are currently working hard on the new version of DSIRE but are also maintaining the content of the current version of DSIRE. Thank you for your continued support and patience during this transition. We hope you are as excited for December as we are!

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Rhode Island

Rhode Island

Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

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Small-Scale Solar Grants   

Last DSIRE Review: 12/03/2014
Program Overview:
State: Rhode Island
Incentive Type: State Grant Program
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Water Heat, Photovoltaics
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Residential, Nonprofit, Multi-Family Residential, Low-Income Residential
Amount:Solar PV: $1.15/W
Solar Domestic Hot Water Heating: 25% of project funding
Maximum Incentive:Solar PV: $10,000 per individual project
Solar Domestic Hot Water Heating: $5,000 per unit
Installation Requirements:Applicant must be approved by Commerce RI
Funding Source:Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund (RIREF); Alternative Compliance Payments (ACPs)
Program Budget:$1.5 million in 2013
Start Date:1/1/2013
Expiration Date:12/31/2013
Web Site:
Authority 1:
RIGL ยง42-64-13.2

NOTE: Funding cycle for Block 3 of the program ended on October 28, 2014. New round of solicitation for funding for Block 4 will open on December 8, 2014 and are due by January 28, 2015. 

Commerce RI provides incentives for renewable-energy projects. Incentive programs are funded by the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund (REF) and alternative compliance payments (ACPs) from the state’s renewable portfolios standard (RPS). Currently, Commerce RI provides grants for small-scale solar projects and direct funding for commercial-scale renewable-energy projects.

Grants are available for photovoltaic systems up to 10 kilowatts (kW) in capacity and domestic solar water-heating systems with collectors up to 160 square feet. Systems may be installed on homes, businesses or affordable housing projects. Solar photovoltaic systems are eligible for a grant of $1.15/W of installed capacity capped at a dollar amount of $10,000. Solar water-heating systems are eligible for a grant of 25% of installed cost, with the incentive capped at $5,000 per project. 

Homeowners are not valid applicants to the REF. The REF is a financial service of Commerce RI and provides grants to businesses. Eligible applicants are solar contractors, neighborhood associations, or another grouping mechanism approved by the Commerce RI. The installer/developer of the system must apply on the behalf of the projects owner. The installer is limited to an aggregate cap on all projects per solicitation period of $350,000.

The following requirements apply to each PV system proposed:

  • Signed turnkey contract demonstrating minimum of 3 year workmanship warranty
  • Project simple payback and return on investments using assumptions stated in the program guidelines.
  • Copy of most recent electricity bill or Fuel bill if applicable
  • Layout drawing
  • An aerial image of the site from Microsoft Virtual Earth, Google Earth, or similar source with the building or site clearly identified.
  • A photo of the project location taken from the south looking northward toward the building or site.
  • Shading analysis demonstrating at least 80% TSRF
  • A one-line electrical drawing.
  • Manufacturer’s specifications for panels and inverter to be installed.

  Hannah Morini
Commerce RI
315 Iron Horse Way, Suite 101
Providence, RI 02908
Phone: (401) 278-9100 Ext.135
Fax: (401) 273-8270
Web Site:
NCSU - home
Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.