Renewable Energy Growth Program in Rhode Island

January 3, 2024 | Reading Time: 6 minutes

The Renewable Energy Growth (REG) Program, managed by Rhode Island Energy, financially supports renewable energy generation across Rhode Island. Approved technologies for these projects include wind, solar, small-scale hydropower, and anaerobic digestion.

What is the Renewable Energy Growth Program?

The REG program is a monetary incentive for owners of residential and commercial properties who implement a renewable technology and are willing to sell their production to Rhode Island Energy for a long-term, fixed price.

If accepted into the program, all generated electricity will be sent directly to the grid. At the end of the month, an energy surplus or deficit is calculated by subtracting the amount of consumed electricity from the amount sold. The customer will be compensated or billed respectively.

The REG program is revised annually with new ceiling prices and terms of service ranging from 15 to 20 years. However, once a contract is open, it cannot be revised and the rate is set for the entire term. While the REG program rates may change each year, only future contracts are eligible to secure them.

Small-Scale REG Program

The small-scale REG program is available to homeowners and business owners with energy systems of 25kW or less. The program opens yearly on April 1st and is available on a first-come, first-served basis until it is fully subscribed.

Commercial Scale REG Program

Projects greater than 25kW are categorized under the commercial scale. The ceiling price of the monetary incentive varies based on the project’s energy production capabilities and ranges from 14 to 31 cents per kWh.

How Do I Apply for the REG Program?

Applications for the REG program must be submitted electronically via Rhode Island Energy’s Interconnection Process webpage. Participants must then submit a W-9 form to RI Energy. RI Energy’s taxation policies should also be reviewed before applying.

You will be notified if your project is approved or rejected for the program.

How To Qualify for the Small-Scale REG Program

  • Solar arrays and other technologies should have a maximum capacity of 25kW DC, be in Rhode Island, be connected to the Rhode Island Energy distribution system, and be operational within 24 months.
  • The system must be sized to produce electricity at a level not greater than the historic or estimated annual usage of the customer.
  • Residential customer projects must be located at a customer residence receiving electric service under the Basic Residential Rate.
  • Projects cannot be operational or under construction at the time of application.
  • Non-residential customers can elect to receive bill credits so long as their project is sized at a level not greater than the historic or estimated annual usage of the customer.

How to Qualify for the Commercial Scale REG Program

  • Solar and other technologies must be greater than 25kW.
  • Before the enrollment period, applicants must receive an Impact Study for Renewable Distributed Generation (ISRDG) or an Interconnection Services Agreement (ISA) from Rhode Island Energy.
  • Participants must submit a W-9 and 1099s will be issued to non-exempt recipients of Performance Based Incentive payments and bill credits.
  • All projects must be constructed and operational within 24, 36, or 48 months depending on the renewable technology.
  • Systems may be subject to and must pass an inspection.

Can the REG Program be Combined with Other Incentives?

Combining incentives is dependent on the system your using the program for.

For example, if you’ve installed a solar energy system, the REG program can be combined with the Federal Solar Tax Credit, but it may not be paired with the Renewable Energy Fund program.

Speak with your solar installer to learn more about the available incentive programs for your system and which ones you qualify for.

Is the REG Program Worth It?

We would only recommend considering the REG program to our solar customer if they are commerical property owner. We do not recommend a residential customer looking to achieve net-zero electric bills to apply for the REG program. The REG payments are too uncertain, and the unchanging, long-term rate is highly constraining.