The Rhode Island legislature is considering a proposal that would make solar panels a standard feature for new residential and commercial construction, as well as parking lots. The bill, authored by state representative Jennifer Boylan, aims to capitalize on every new building construction by not missing the opportunity to install solar panels from the outset.
The Solar Neighborhoods Act, which is being considered by the Rhode Island House Committee on Corporations, seeks to leverage the potential of solar power to meet the state's goal of generating 100% renewable electricity by 2033. By requiring all new homes to have enough solar capacity to meet their electricity needs, the bill can help Rhode Island reach its goal.
According to a 2018 report by Environment America Research & Policy Center, installing solar panels on all new homes from 2020-2045 can add 255 MW of solar energy to Rhode Island's energy mix by 2045, bringing the total solar capacity to 320 MW. With the addition of commercial properties and parking lots, as proposed in Boylan's Solar Neighborhoods Act, the state can achieve even greater benefits.
Environment Rhode Island has expressed its support for the Solar Neighborhoods Act, stating that it will help the state transition to clean, renewable energy sources while also benefiting homeowners, taxpayers, and the environment. With the bill currently under consideration, Rhode Island is taking a step towards a greener future.