State lawmakers are hoping new legislation will grow the green energy industry.
This week, the senate passed a bill that would expand the Renewable Energy Growth Program, which allows large commercial renewable energy projects and small residential producers to sell the energy they generate to National Grid. The program would aim to produce 400 more megawatts of renewable energy over 10 years.
Democratic Senator Bill Conley of East Providence introduced the measure. He said renewable energy companies are concerned about the future of the industry and need predictability if they're going to hire more people.
"The key goals (of the bill) were to allow for this expansion and to send the signal to the people in the industry that it was going to survive and was not going to expire," Conley said.
So far, there are more than 180 solar residential projects throughout the state.
The bill is now under consideration by the House of Representatives.