solar energy

Fred Bever / Maine Public Broadcasting News

A major transformation in the way energy is made, delivered and used is happening right now, and it’s disrupting the traditional business model of electric utility companies. That model includes building big infrastructure projects to transmit electricity.

Angela Evancie / Vermont Public Radio File Photo

New England now gets nearly 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources - with more on the way. But that change is posing challenges for the region’s electric grid. The Big Switch: New England's Energy Moment looks at this transformative time for how the region powers itself.

The city’s planning commission has approved a 21-megawatt solar farm, covering 60 acres. City planners say the solar panels will provide renewable energy. But some residents opposed the project. They say the solar farm will harm land that could be set aside for conservation. Douglas Doe, a neighbor of the property, said the project will harm visitors’ enjoyment of the nearby forests.  

“So anybody going to enjoy the conservation land that we paid for is going to be confronted by one chain link fence, a gravel road, and anywhere from 40-60,000 solar panels,” said Doe.

Courtesy of SmartPower

A state program designed to make buying and installing solar panels affordable and easy is available for residents and small businesses in Providence through late June.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line.  

This week Mark and Dave chat with Rhode Island Energy Commissioner Marion Gold about the rapid rise of clean energy jobs in the state. 


A year after a solar decathlon competition in France, the one-of-a-kind solar house designed and built by students at Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design and University of Applied Sciences in Erfurt, Germany is in the limelight. Fast Company has selected this solar house as one of nine finalists for its 2015 “Innovation by Design” student awards.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Homeowners interested in switching to solar energy will soon have the option to do so with no upfront costs. The nation’s largest rooftop solar installer is coming to Rhode Island. Starting this week, California-based SolarCity will offer Rhode Islanders loans to buy home solar systems.

SolarCity will offer homeowners in 10 Rhode Island cities and towns loans to buy solar panels for their homes with no money down. Homeowners would pay for the loan in monthly installments, said Lee Keshishian, the company’s vice president for its East Coast operations.

Photo Courtesy of Edouard Dupont-Madinier

An art academy in France, Domaine de Boisbuchet, now has a solar-powered building designed by students from Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Applied Sciences in Erfurt, Germany. The house was part of an international solar competition last year.

The state's renewable energy fund and the program designed to stimulate the development of renewable energy projects in Rhode Island are producing positive outcomes: more jobs and less pollution. That's according to a recent report by the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources.  

RIPR File Photo

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has granted Deepwater Wind its first set of major permit approvals for the Block Island Wind Farm. This marks a significant milestone for the project.

The DEM has deemed the wind farm and underwater transmission cable in compliance with state and federal water quality regulations. So it issued the company Water Quality Certificates. The DEM also issued a Freshwater Wetland permit for certain onshore construction activities. 

Courtesy of Team Inside Out

Leave it to a team of the brightest students in Rhode Island to design a solar-powered house made almost entirely out of high-quality fabrics. Students from Brown, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt in Germany are competing as one team, called Team Inside Out, in the 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe, taking place in Versailles, France in July.

Courtesy of Bella Energy

The Quonset Development Corporation has given a Colorado-based renewable energy company, Bella Energy, the green light to build a solar farm.

The solar farm will sit on an acre and a half, out of the five acres Bella Energy will lease.

Ted Kresse, spokesperson for the Quonset Development Corporation, said the land Bella Energy will lease is not fit for industrial development, but works for solar projects.