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Sunday, January 21, 2018

DEM, Partners Help Local Farms "Green" Their Operations, Save Money

$120,000 Awarded for Renewable Energy Investments

interview point GIFThe Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), in partnership with the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources and the Rhode Island Resource Conservation & Development Area Council, announced $120,000 in grants to help farmers "green" their operations and save energy and money. 

The awards, funded through the Rhode Island Farm Energy Program (RIFEP), will support solar projects at six local farms across the state.

"These grants are a win for Rhode Island farmers and for our state," said Governor Gina Raimondo. "Our commitment to expanding clean energy on farms and throughout Rhode Island will help lower energy costs, create jobs and protect the beauty of our state for future generations."

Funded projects include:

Bedrock Tree Farm, Wakefield - $20,000 Installation of a 25.6 kW solar photovoltaic system that will offset power used by the agricultural operation.

Carpenter's Farm, Wakefield - $20,000 Installation of a 32.4 kW solar photovoltaic system that will power 100% of this multi-faceted agricultural operation.

Cottrell Homestead, West Kingston - $20,000 Installation of a 25.2 kW solar photovoltaic system that will provide significant savings for the farm's dairy operation.

Little Grange Farm, Little Compton - $20,000 Installation of a 19.8 kW roof-mount solar photovoltaic system that will offset power used by the dairy operation.

Pat's Pastured, East Greenwich - $20,000 Installation of a 9.28 kW solar photovoltaic system that will offset power used by the livestock operation.

Stoney Acres Farm, Wakefield - $20,000 Installation of a 7.2 kW solar photovoltaic system that will offset power used by agricultural operations.

"Kudos to our grant recipients and to all partners involved in this effort," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Rhode Island is charting a bold course in clean energy, which is exciting and vital. We must continue to invest in our green economy for the benefit of our state, our environment, and our families."

"Rhode Island is making progress on Governor Raimondo's 1,000 megawatt clean energy goal in all corners of our state," said State Energy Commissioner Carol Grant. 

"We continue to find new partners – big and small – who are passionate about working with us to build a clean, reliable, affordable energy future. Today's grant recipients are included in that partnership, and we are excited they will be able to reap the benefits of this renewable energy investment."

DEM continues to work across many fronts to strengthen Rhode Island's green economy and assist local farmers in growing their businesses. 

Rhode Island is one of few states nationally where the number of farms is on the rise. 

There are more than 1,200 sprinkled across the state, a 44 percent increase since 2002. The state's green industries account for more than 15,000 jobs and contribute $2.5 billion to the economy each year.

Last spring, $89,755 was awarded under the RIFEP's second grant round; the awards supported renewable energy and energy efficiency projects at Barden Family Orchard in North Scituate, Earth Care Farm in Charlestown, Gradin Landscapes and Supply in South Kingstown, Planeview Farm in West Kingston, Seven Cedars Farm in Smithfield, and The Good Earth Organic Gardening Center in Hope.

Funding for RIFEP is made possible through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) or Facebook at for timely updates.

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