Rhode Island adopts 2024 Energy Storage Systems Act

PROVIDENCE – A newly signed state law will require Rhode Island energy officials to meet a set of benchmarks that prepares the state to move from traditional fuel sources to electric energy storage systems.

The Energy Storage Systems Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Dawn Euer, D-Jamestown, and Rep. Arthur Handy, D-Cranston, was signed by Gov. Daniel J. McKee on June 28.

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Under this act, the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank and the R.I. Office of Energy Resources must develop and fund a program that adheres to benchmarks established by the legislation.

Benchmarks include reaching 90 megawatts of energy storage capacity by the end of 2026; 195 megawatts by the end of 2028; and 600 megawatts by the end of 2033.

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The act also states that the R.I. Public Utilities Commission must establish a framework for an electric rate tariffs program that supports the new electric grid by Sept. 1 of this year and conduct a market survey of storage technologies every three years.

“Moving to renewable electricity means we are going to need the structures – both physical and regulatory – to store energy,” Euer said in a statement. “This bill sets concrete goals and action plans to build a resilient grid that can accommodate the green energy transition that is happening now. This is just one of many actions we will need to meet our diverse energy goals and ensure that Rhode Island keeps its commitment to a carbon-neutral future.”

Handy, meanwhile, said the act supports a critical need to “both take advantage of the renewable energy we have to bring online, and to build a sustainable grid in the face of severe storms and other effects of climate change.”

Jacquelyn Voghel is a PBN staff writer. You may reach her at Voghel@PBN.com.