The State of Rhode Island and many of its communities are considering investing in renewable energy infrastructure. URI has been invited by the state to provide technical expertise about the effects renewable energy may have on the people, wildlife and natural resources of Rhode Island. Based on this information, and through extensive public involvement, a URI team of skilled professionals in the fields of energy, research and planning will then develop guidelines that can be used by Rhode Island's cities and towns to site and manage this new activity. Additionally, the RESP project will make state and municipal energy information accessible to the public through the creation of a comprehensive online energy database.
The RESP will also provide a stakeholder process to engage key constituencies and interested citizens. Stakeholder group members and meeting attendees will be able to voice their concerns and issues, provide thoughtful input, and learn about renewable energy research in Rhode Island. They will also have opportunities to preview tools the RESP project is developing to assist in the analysis of land-based wind, water and solar energy issues.
The RESP is not an advocacy effort. It brings science and lessons learned from other places to the table and builds on the multiple renewable energy efforts underway in Rhode Island so municipalities and the state can make informed, fact-based decisions.
RESP Factsheet (PDF)
For more information contact Kristina DiSanto at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401.874.4524
As part of the RESP project, the URI Outreach Center team offered a tour of the Thundermist Hydroelectric Facility in Woonsocket, RI. Thundermist Hydropower, operated by Putnam Hydropower, is a small hydropower facility that utilizes Woonsocket Falls Dam on the Blackstone River. The facility produces about 5 million kWh each year to be sold back to National Grid at the clearing price for electricity. During the tour, Rhode Island community members learned how the turbine system works to produce power on a daily basis. Read more about this facility.
The team organized a tour for Rhode Island community members through Toray Plastics' solar field in North Kingstown, RI. In August 2011 the company completed construction on their 3.5 acre solar farm project. 1650 panels with a capacity of 375kW are expected to save the company $70,000 to $80,000 each year on their electricity bills. Not only does the project have a small payback period for the company, it is also estimated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 340 tons each year. Read more on how the solar farm operates to produce electricity.
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