Existing CHP in Rhode Island
Rhode Island currently has 15 CHP installations providing 103 MW of electrical power. Most of these serve commercial and institutional users, such as health care facilities, universities, and office buildings.
A list of current CHP in RI, EEA’s installation database, is available here.
NERAC has conducted several case studies of CHP in the northeast similar to opportunities in Rhode Island.
CHP Market Potential
No CHP formal CHP potential study has been conducted. Interpolating from experiences in other states, there likely remain many good opportunities for small to medium sized CHP installations in the commercial and institutional markets. Natural gas is widely available.
Policy & Overview
Comprehensive energy legislation signed on June 29, 2006, based on based on House bill (2006 - H8025Aaa) and Senate bill (2006 - S2903Baa), supports the use of CHP and renewable energy distributed generation systems in the state.
Among other provisions, the Bill mandates a “DG Benefits Study” be completed by December 31, 2007. This investigation shall consider the societal costs and benefits of distributed generation and include a statistical assessment of the combined impact of many distributed generators of various types operating on the electricity grid. By June 1, 2007, the commission shall use the findings of the DG benefits study to establish and enforce regulations by which distributed generation resources can qualify for net-metering rates and/or an exemption from backup power rates. Following this study, the Commission shall prepare a report with its findings to the legislature and governor by March 1, 2008.
The NERAC has prepared a database of incentives in the Northeastern states, including Rhode Island.
Narragansett Electric, which serves the vast majority of Rhode Island customers, is a subsidiary of National Grid. It uses similar processes as Massachusetts Electric, which is also a National Grid subsidiary. Although Rhode Island has not streamlined interconnection standards for CHP, legislation passed in June 2006 ordered a study of CHP barriers that may result in progress.
Environmental and Business Roundtables
The Office of Strategic Planning & Policy coordinates quarterly meetings for the Business and Environmental communities. These meetings facilitate open dialog between the environmental and business communities and the Director of DEM. Members use the meetings to discuss issues of mutual concern and possible solutions and to express unfiltered comments or opinions about the impacts of the Department's environmental efforts. If you are interested in being part of one of these groups, contact Terri Bisson at (401) 222-3434 extension 4402.
Rhode Island Greenhouse Gas Stakeholder Project Organized by Raab Associates and the Tellus Institute
Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources serves as Rhode Island’s energy office. It has not been active in CHP issues to date.