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Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee has announced that $2.7 million in new grants will be made available through the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp.'s Renewable Energy Fund (REF). This funding will help accelerate 16 renewable energy projects with combined private and public investments totaling $5.7 million.

The new grants will support a wide range of Rhode Island businesses, municipalities, nonprofits and housing/residential projects designed to boost energy efficiency with the installation of renewable energy systems or conduct feasibility studies to identify clean energy development opportunities around the state. All projects must be completed by March 1, 2012.

The projects awarded grants include two involving wind energy. The town of Jamestown, R.I., will receive $117,775 for a wind feasibility study and pre-development support for its planned 1.5 MW wind turbine project and position the town to execute agreements with the appropriate wind developer and complete the project.

The other wind power award will go to the Washington County Regional Planning Council in Westerly, R.I., which will receive $22,000 to complete the interconnect studies for potential renewable energy projects at the Westerly Landfill. The town has been trying to develop renewable energy projects, primarily large-scale wind and solar PV facilities. In preparing for development, the town is seeking to continue making progress on several pre-development activities, especially feasibility and interconnection studies on the site for the proposed projects.

The grants are a result of federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to help states advance renewable energy development and assist businesses in lowering their energy costs. Grants were awarded through a publicly announced proposal solicitation process managed by the REF.


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