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Construction Begins on 12.44-MW Rhode Island Community Solar Project

November 21, 2019


TurningPoint Energy and Nautilus Solar Energy have begun construction on the King community solar project in North Smithfield, Rhode Island.

The project, originally developed by TurningPoint Energy and now owned by Nautilus, is being constructed by DEPCOM Power as part of Rhode Island’s Community Net Metering Pilot Program.

The project represents two solar arrays totaling 12.44 MWac of community solar capacity and is expected to be operational and providing a clean energy option to residents in 2020. The project will substantially complete Rhode Island’s net metering pilot program.

“There are times when property use fits a location like a glove. This effort by Nautilus and TurningPoint Energy is about to do that in stellar fashion,” said Gary Ezovski, town administrator of North Smithfield. “There have been many difficulties to get to this point but the cooperation demonstrated by landowners, neighbors, regulators, and design professionals is bringing an important new use to a challenging location.”

The King community solar project abuts the Landfill Resource and Recovery Superfund site that is currently undergoing a long-term remedial response under the oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). TurningPoint Energy and Nautilus have coordinated closely with Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) and EPA representatives to ensure that the project design has considered any potential future remediation which may be required, and it will incorporate environmental measures including a pollinator-friendly seed mix around and underneath the array.

“Projects like this, which simultaneously clean up our land and make our economy more green, are the future of our state,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “I’m thrilled that once this array is complete, more than 3,000 Rhode Island households will have the option to use clean energy and save money.”

This is TurningPoint Energy and Nautilus Solar’s second Rhode Island community solar project in the Community Net Metering Solar Pilot Program, which is focused on providing renewable energy benefits and reducing costs for the state’s residential customers. The Hopkins Hill community solar project broke ground earlier this year.

“We are grateful to the town of North Smithfield, EPA and RIDEM for their collaboration in paving the way for the largest community solar project in Rhode Island,” said Jim Rice, CEO of Nautilus. “We are also appreciative of the hard work that our local partners provided to ensure the overall success of this project.”

The King community solar project is expected to create over 100 jobs across fields of consulting, engineering, construction and related occupations. In addition, it is generating significant property tax revenue for the Town of North Smithfield.

“We have worked closely with state and local leadership to bring Rhode Island’s Community Net Metering Solar Pilot Program to life,” said Jared Schoch, President, TurningPoint Energy. “We see huge demand for the subscription of these projects and it’s obvious that this community solar program needs to be expanded to fulfill demand.”

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