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Renewable energy legislation in RI you should be supporting!

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.

The highlight of the evening was the panel of five guest speakers moderated by PP&L Executive Director, Larry Chretien. Panelists included legislators Representative Arthur Handy, Representative Deborah Ruggiero, and Senator William Conley, as well as policymakers Chris Kearns from the Office of Energy Resources and Charity Pennock from the New England Clean Energy Council. Kearns and Pennock shared recent study updates and targeted efforts from their respective organizations to help RI implement renewables and promote a clean energy economy.

The legislative movers and shakers on panel gave insight on bills that every clean energy advocate in Rhode Island should be supporting, the Resilient Rhode Island Act and Distributed Generation Growth Bill.

The 2 Bills we should be supporting:

  1. The “Resilient Rhode Island Act”, sponsored by panelists Rep. Handy and Rep. Ruggiero, is designed to prepare RI for the impacts of climate change and to protect especially vulnerable populations.  It would utilize an advisory board to present the latest science and technology to assist the Executive Climate Change Council.  That bill, plus a similar climate bill in the Senate (sponsored by fellow panelist Sen. Conley) are receiving a lot of attention on Capitol Hill as many groups try to work out details.
  2. The speakers also discussed in depth the “Distributed Generation (DG) Growth Bill,” which would add 160 MW of renewable energy (i.e. solar, wind, small hydro, and anaerobic digestion) to Rhode Island’s power grid. Distributed Generation refers to power derived from renewable sources. Unlike utility scale generation, DG is created from smaller scale projects, such as a single wind turbine or residential rooftop solar. The 2011 pilot program was very successful at incentivizing these types of developments, but it is set to expire this year. If passed, the DG Growth bill would quadruple the pilot program’s amount of distributed generation. A recent study concluded that the expanded DG program would create 250 jobs in Rhode Island!

Show your support for renewable energy legislation

There are roughly six weeks left in the legislative session and time is running out to pass these progressive policies. We need you to show your support for action on climate change in Rhode Island. Contact your local legislators (look them up at or give the PP&L office a call for help at 401-861-6111.

And remember, a great way to support renewable energy in Rhode Island AND Massachusetts is through PP&L & Mass Energy’s green power programs.  At the annual meeting, Marketing Director Priscilla De La Cruz and Board President Sandi Bagley concluded the panel by speaking on the importance of buying from local, green projects to make a meaningful impact to combat climate change.

See Sen. Whitehouse’s Annual Meeting remarks, event photos, and the guest handouts all at