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The Solar Siting Challenge: Aligning State Incentives With Climate Goals & Core Forest Protection

April 25, 2022; 1:30-2:30 pm | Zoom Webinar

Join us for a conversation about the ongoing solar siting issue, and how we can take a step toward a legislative solution that enables the protection of core forests and supports renewable energy sources and clean energy jobs!

The status quo is not working: the State’s instate renewable energy program incentives are at odds with our Act On Climate goals and the public’s investment of protecting our most critical open space for environmental benefits, wildlife habitat, and recreation. Programs to incentivize renewable energy development were designed to benefit the lowest price options. This has unintentionally led to clearcutting large tracts of critical forestland as developers focus on inexpensive and privately owned open space. At the same time, municipalities across the state are pushing back and passing ordinances prohibiting solar development.

The goal and opportunity: working with legislative sponsors and a variety of stakeholders, we can focus H 7531 to significantly expand the Renewable Energy Growth program, align in-state renewable energy program incentives with our Act On Climate goals, and shift incentives toward preferred sites for solar development while ensuring that these same state incentives don’t contribute to the clear-cutting of our shared public investment—critically needed unfragmented blocks of core forest.

Advocates will discuss how H 7531 charts a path forward that would allow us to do two things:

  • Align state goals for climate resilience, clean energy deployment, and forest conservation by restricting the use of state renewable incentives in core forests.
  • Levels the playing field across clean energy programs by expanding the Renewable Energy Growth program and encouraging development in preferred locations by allowing the pricing to reflect the varying costs of development in these locations.

Hosted by Audubon Society of RI, Conservation Law Foundation, Green Energy Consumers Alliance, Grow Smart RI, Save The Bay, and The Nature Conservancy