Solar projects planned to support Rhode Island public housing
New England Renewable Energy Developers Nautilus Solar Power and Veolia North America (VNA) are joining forces in a project that will deliver energy savings for local housing authorities and provide electricity to thousands of low-income residents across the state from renewable solar projects.
The effort brings together multiple public housing authorities under a single renewable energy contract and includes the construction of three solar energy projects spanning more than 55 acres. The panels will provide power to nine separate housing authorities in Rhode Island that are members of the Public Housing Association of Rhode Island (PHARI).
The arrays are primarily located in Exeter and Smithfield and will supply more than 20 million kWh of electricity to housing authorities in Providence, North Providence, Newport, Cranston, Smithfield, Warwick, Warren, Bristol and Lincoln. The goal is to reduce operating budgets for housing authorities through energy savings, about $30 million over the next 20 years.
“We are proud of our experience partnering with PHARI to support innovations that bring clean, renewable energy to everyone in Rhode Island, and on a broader scale, the ecological transformation that must happen everywhere,” said Mike Byrnes, VP and CEO of SourceOne VNA’s energy consulting firm.
SourceOne has been a PHARI energy consultant for over 10 years, providing energy procurement and risk management services to all of its member organizations.
“This partnership is important because it embodies Nautilus’ commitment to provide all Rhode Islanders with fair and affordable access to community solar energy,” said Jim Rice, co-founder and co-CEO of Nautilus. “We were proud to partner with Veolia North America and PHARI members on these important and groundbreaking projects,” said Jason Su, Nautilus Structuring Officer. “This was the first remote grid measurement project where a group of individual housing authorities worked together to harness their purchasing power. As a result, hundreds of social housing residents will benefit from these clean affordable solar projects.”
Nautilus was selected by the supervisory boards of each of the nine housing authorities as the sole developer for community solar projects.
As owner of the long-term portfolio, Nautilus will be responsible for overseeing construction, ongoing management and maintaining long-term performance over the lifetime of the projects, estimated to be 25 to 30 years. The energy generated from the projects will be fed into the electric utility area of The Narragansett Electric Company, a subsidiary of National Grid. The projects are in the early stages of development and are expected to start construction in the first half of 2022.
News item from Nautilus Solar Energy