The Prudence Island Research Reserve will become a little more energy efficient thanks to a new state project.
The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) plans to install a single, pole-mounted solar array at the research reserve. The array will generate more than 3,700 kWh of electricity each year.
Students involved in educational programs at the Prudence Island Research Reserve will learn about sustainable energy created by solar panels and other renewable sources.
“These installations demonstrate a significant investment in Rhode Island’s commitment to renewable energy. The projects will not only reduce our electricity bills at the different facilities, but will provide a great educational tool for the public,” said Governor Lincoln Chafee.
The solar system is estimated to save the research reserve $500 per year. It is estimated that the installation will be completed by the end of February.
DEM has been awarded $1.5 million in federal funds from the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources to install solar panels at nine DEM facilities throughout the state.
The solar panels are designed to turn the energy from the sun into electricity that will be used to offset the energy needs at the state facilities. The funding was awarded as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009.
“This is yet another example of how we are working to increase the use of clean, renewable energy at DEM facilities throughout Rhode Island,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “These solar arrays illustrate how properly-sized renewable energy projects can work at a wide range of publicly-owned sites. The technology is proven and will result in lower electrical bills for the state for many years to come.”