Commercial Scale Renewable Energy Grants (Commerce RI)

Program Commercial Scale Renewable Energy Grants (Commerce RI)
Category Financial Incentive
Implementing sector State
Last Update
State Rhode Island
Administrator Commerce RI
Start Date
Technologies Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Photovoltaics

The 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. Incentive programs are funded by the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund (REF) and alternative compliance payments (ACPs) from the state’s renewable portfolios standard (RPS). 


Any legal business entity, municipality, non-profit, and affordable housing are eligible for funding. All projects must be located on Rhode Island and must be used for on-site consumption. Grants are available for electricity-generating renewable-energy systems greater than 10 kilowatts (kW). Eligible technologies include solar, wind, ocean, small hydro, biomass, and fuel cells. Customers participating in the RE Growth Program offered by National Grid are not eligible for the program. 

Program description

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. Project owners must have conducted an energy audit prior to application submittal. Commerce RI does not mandate that the REC’s go to any particular party. It is up to the installers and customers to decide who owns the REC’s.

The application to the Renewable Energy Fund, must demonstrate the following:

  • Proof of energy audit at the project site
  • Signed turnkey contract between the project owner and a renewable energy company (contingent on REF funding)
  • System one-line or three-line electrical drawing
  • A layout drawing of project.
  • Project financial analysis illustrating simple payback calculations, cash flows, and return on investments using assumptions stated in the program guidelines
  • Proof of funds for remainder of project
  • Copy of Manufacturer warranty
  • Copy of workmanship warranty (if not included with turnkey contract)
  • A complete copy of most recent electricity bill (if new construction, please include a request for service from national grid)
  • Complete W-9 Form
  • Manufacturer Equipment specification sheets
  • Outcome of feasibility study (If applicable)
  • An aerial image of the site from Microsoft Virtual Earth, Google Earth, or similar source with the building or site clearly identified

Technology specific information:

For Solar:

  • Shading analysis
  • System output in the form of PV Watts, PV SYS or other
  • One (1) photo of the project location taken from the south looking north toward the building or site

For Wind:

  • FAA filing
  • Proof that project is permissible within jurisdictional authority
  • Detailed system output in kWh forecasted for the project

For Hydro:

  • Detailed system output in kWh forecasted for the project
  • Any other supporting or supplemental information that the Applicant deems relevant for the corporations review and evaluation of the application


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