SolarReviews | Rhode Island Solar Power Rebates and Incentives

Rebates and incentives for installation of a solar power system in Rhode Island Corporate Tax Credit for solar power systems in Rhode Island 

Rhode Island offers a tax credit for photovoltaic systems (on-grid and off-grid) installed on residences. The tax credit is equal to 25% of the system cost and applies only to residential installations. The credit is available to the business that pays for the system. Photovoltaic (PV) systems must have a minimum module size of 24 square feet, and must either be connected to the grid or to a battery-storage system. PV systems up to $15,000 are eligible for the full 25% credit. (A resident or business that pays for a PV system that exceeds $15,000 in cost will receive a credit based on a $15,000 system cost.) It is a bit of a strange system in that it is a tax credit for installation s of solar panels onto a residential property but the tax credit belongs to the corporation that pays for the system. Presumably this is designed to encourage landlords to install solar power panels on properties they own that they rent to others.

Performance Based Incentive

Note: The most recent enrollment period for standard contracts closed April 20, 2012. The next enrollment period likely will be announced in August 2012. Check the program web site for updates.

Rhode Island enacted legislation (H.B. 6104) in June 2011 establishing a feed-in tariff for new distributed renewable energy generators up to five megawatts (MW) in capacity. The law requires electric distribution companies to enter into standard contracts for an aggregate capacity of at least 40 MW by the end of 2014. Standard contracts include a fixed payment rate and a 15-year term, and generally vary by generator capacity and type. Eligible renewables include solar energy. Separate classes have been established for "large" generators and "small" generators. Small generators include solar energy systems up to 500 kilowatts (kW) and wind energy systems up to 1.5 MW. The Distributed Generation Standard Contract Board** will determine capacity limits for other "small" systems, but limits may not exceed 1 MW. The contracting period is spread over four years. The following annual minimum targets for standard contracts have been established:

  • By December 30, 2011: 5 MW of aggregate capacity
  • By December 30, 2012: 20 MW of aggregate capacity
  • By December 30, 2013: 30 MW of aggregate capacity
  • By December 30, 2014: 40 MW of aggregate capacity

Each electric distribution company must conduct at least three enrollment periods in subsequent program years. Each enrollment period will be open for two weeks.Eligible small projects will be awarded standard contracts on a first-come, first-served basis until the class target is met. Eligible large projects will be awarded standard contracts based on the lowest proposed prices received. Eligible systems that are net-metered may apply to sell excess output.

2012 Enrollment Period

The 2012 enrollment period class targets and ceiling prices vary by technology, as outlined below.

Class Nameplate

Target Capacity for Class

Ceiling Price (cents/kWh)

PV (10-150 kW)

0.5 MW

33.35

PV (151-500 kW)

1.0 MW

31.60

PV (501-5000 kW)

2.0 MW

28.95

Wind (1.5 MW)

1.5 MW

13.35

  Note: The most recent enrollment period for standard contracts closed April 20, 2012. The next enrollment period likely will be announced in August 2012. Check the program web site for updates, and or click "here" and get in touch with local professional solar installers.


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