Block Island Times

Public Hearing on solar ordinance changes

The Town of New Shoreham will conduct a public hearing on proposed changes to the zoning ordinances on solar energy systems on Monday, Feb.1, at 7 p.m.
Solar technology has evolved in many ways over the years — what was once an oddity on the roof or in the yard of a neighbor is becoming commonplace.
Block Island has slowly but surely embraced solar technologies over the years and the momentum continues with the help of the Block Island Solar Initiative and entrepreneurs like resident Chris Warfel of Entech Engineering.
Realizing the power that comes from their roofs, residents whose solar systems produced more power than they could use were able to get credit on their power bills through a program called net metering. The program is limited by the state of Rhode Island such that connected systems do not exceed three percent of the peak output of the local power utility during any given year. The peak for Block Island currently averages 5,000 kW per year.
On Block Island, the Block Island Power Company bumped up against that limit in 2019. The program was supposed to be for residential installations only but a review by BIPCo revealed

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