Local leaders commission Rhode Island landfill solar array

Governor Gina Raimondo, North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi, Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, business leaders and elected officials joined Southern Sky Renewable Energy RI to mark the completion of a 2.6-MW solar array on Smithfield Road. The former municipal landfill site is now producing clean energy for the town of North Providence, offsetting their energy costs. In addition to energy savings, the town will receive rent payments for the use of the land and tax payments for real and tangible property. The town will receive a financial benefit of $5.1 million over the life of the project.

“Renewable energy is the future of energy in Rhode Island, and this new solar array is a perfect example of our progress,” said Governor Raimondo. “The incredible transformation of this former landfill into a clean energy-producing solar array is not only good for the planet, but for our economy as well. We’re making it easier for businesses and homeowners alike to invest in solar and are now offering financial incentives to convert brownfields into renewable energy projects. Thanks to our efforts, I’m confident there will be many ribbon cuttings like this one in the years to come.”

The renewable energy produced by the array will yield environmental benefits, offsetting the emissions equal to burning 2.9 million pounds of coal annually, or taking 560 cars off the road.

“The Smithfield Road solar array will yield significant economic and environmental benefits for North Providence,” said Mayor Charles Lombardi. “This project has cleaned up and repaired our former landfill and will power our municipal buildings, saving taxpayers millions of dollars and adding additional tax revenue. Southern Sky has been a great partner from planning through construction.”

The municipal landfill has been closed for the past 35 years. The 12-acre site is now host to over 6,700 panels. The facility will operate under an agreement between Southern Sky and the town for the next 25 years. The project also received a $350,000 grant through CommerceRI’s Renewable Energy Fund.

“Southern Sky is proud to lead the cleanup, repair and redevelopment of another landfill site in Rhode Island,” said company President Ralph A. Palumbo. “North Providence is making a statement by offsetting all of their municipal buildings with renewable energy. Southern Sky will continue to support the green economy in Rhode Island and Governor Raimondo’s visionary renewable energy goals.”

Southern Sky’s partners in this project were instrumental in turning idle town property into a productive site for North Providence and its residents. “Landfill and brownfield sites require a more extensive approval and construction process to ensure that the protective cap is not disturbed,” said Ralph A. Palumbo.

Southern Sky contracted with Energy EPC to design and construct the facility and the project received a capital investment from Captona Partners, a New York based investment company specializing in power generation and energy infrastructure assets. Izzet Bensusan, Founder and Managing Partner of Captona Partners said “We are thrilled to be a part of such a high-quality asset that will provide long-lasting value to the local community. This project is well positioned within Captona’s large operating power asset portfolio of wind, solar and storage assets across North America.”

News item from Southern Sky Renewable Energy RI

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