Saturday, July 25, 2009

Renewable power mandate now RI law

Gov. Carcieri recently has signed a bill that requires National Grid to sign long-term contracts to purchase electricity from renewable energy developers.

The legislation requires National Grid to sign 10-15 year contracts to buy a minimum of 90 megawatts of its electricity load from renewable developers and up to 150 megawatts from a utility-scale offshore wind farm that Deepwater Wind plans to construct in Rhode Island Sound in the first half of the decade.

The contracting process will be overseen by the RI Public Utility Commission. Once a renewable site begins generating power, rate payers will pay National Grid a 2.75 percent bonus for using its electricity.

Deepwater and other renewable energy developers say long term contracts are key to helping them attract investors because contracts guarantee that projects will generate enough revenue to cover their upfront costs.

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