Rhode Island Passes Renewable Energy Standard

On June 29, 2004, Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri signed the Clean Energy Act, which requires state electricity retailers to derive at least 3 percent of the electricity they sell in state from renewable energy by December 31, 2006. The percentage of renewable energy required will then rise 1 percent per year through 2020, though the Rhode Island Public Utility Commission (PUC) is authorized to revise the schedule after 2013. Existing renewable resources may only contribute 2 percent of the required amount of renewables in any year; the rest must be from new renewable energy production. All energy for compliance must be generated in or delivered into the New England Power Pool electric grid, and compliance will be tracked using New England Generation Information System certificates, an accounting system for generation attributes. The law includes a number of flexibility mechanisms designed to lower the cost of compliance, including credit for adding renewables ahead of schedule and limited carry-over of credits from year to year. The PUC is directed to adopt regulations to implement the standard by December 31, 2005. The PUC is to design the regulations to achieve substantial greenhouse gas emission reductions, among other goals.

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