Rhode Island offers a number of incentives for businesses to switch to solar energy, making it an attractive option for commercial property owners. Rhode Island’s Renewable Energy Fund provides grants and loans for solar projects, and the Rhode Island Solar Rebate Program offers a rebate of up to $1.5 per watt of installed capacity. In addition, Rhode Island has a net metering program that allows businesses to sell excess electricity generated by their solar panels back to the grid. These incentives make Rhode Island an ideal place for businesses to invest in solar energy.
Renewable Energy Growth Program
The Renewable Energy Growth (REG) program has a goal to promote installation of grid connected renewable energy within the load zones of electric distribution companies (EDCs) at a reasonable cost. This tariff-based incentive program is designed to finance the development, construction, and operation of renewable energy distributed generation projects. The REG program has target install total of 160 MW of distributed renewable energy during its five-year term.
|Renewable Energy Class|
Target (Nameplate MW)
Enrollment Target (Nameplate MW)
|Ceiling price (including|
ITC/PTC & Bonus Depreciation)
|Term of Service|
(26-250 kW DC)
(251-999 kW DC)
(1,000-5,000 kW DC)
|Community Remote DG Commercial Solar (251-999 kW DC)||3||2.3||20.99||20|
|Community Remote DG Large Solar (1,000-5,000 kW DC)||3||3||15.7||20|
Commercial Scale Renewable Energy Grants (Commerce RI)
Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (Commerce RI) seeks to fund commercial scale renewable energy projects generating electricity for onsite- consumption. Commerce RI provides incentives for renewable-energy projects. The program has different incentive levels for directly owned systems and third party owned systems. Incentive amounts are as follows:
|Direct Ownership||Third Party Owned||System Size|
|$1.05/W||$0.70/W||For the first 0-50kW|
|$0.90/W||$0.55/W||For the 2nd 50kW (up to 100 kW)|
|$0.75/W||$0.40/W||For the 3rd 50 kW (up to 150 kW)|
|$0.60/W||$0.25/W||For the 4th 50 kW (up to 200 kW)|
|$0.45/W||$0.25/W||For the 5th 50 kW (up to 250 kW)|
|$0.30/W||$0.25/W||For all installed capacity over first 250 kW|
Commercial Scale Incentive is capped at $200,000 per project for directly owned systems and $100,000 per project for third party owned systems.
Small Scale Solar Grants (Commerce RI)
Rhode Island provides financial grants for small scale solar photovoltaic systems and domestic solar water heating systems to help reduce energy costs and increase renewable energy adoption. The program is funded by the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund (REF) and alternative compliance payments (ACPs) from the state’s renewable portfolios standard (RPS). Systems that are directly owned (DO) and Third Party Owned systems have separate applications with different incentive levels. Solar PV systems are eligible up to $10,000 grant at an incentive of $1.05/ W for directly owned systems, and maximum of $5,000 grant at incentive for $0.70 for third party owned systems.
Renewable Energy Products Sales and Use Tax Exemption
Certain renewable energy systems and equipment sold in Rhode Island are exempt from the state’s sales and use tax. This allows 100% tax exemption.
Local Option – Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems
Rhode Island allows cities and towns to exempt, by ordinance, renewable energy systems from property taxation.
Agricultural Energy Program
The Agricultural Energy program provides grants to agricultural businesses in the state to improve their energy efficiency and promote adoption of renewable energy technologies. The business must have produced at least $2,500 in annual income from farming operations. The program provides grants up to $20,000 to help with direct cost associated implementing the project.