Community Remote Net Metering Program

February 10, 2023


Note: H.B. 5853 and S.B. 684 of 2023 require the Office of Energy Resources to redesign the community remote net metering program to integrate the changes made by the bill and to include a C&I anchor tenant up to 50% of the project. The other 50% of a project must be allocated to LMI residents, residents living in disadvantaged communities, or residents living in environmental justice communities. The Office must file a program proposal and benefit-cost analysis with the Public Utilities Commission, who will then establish a docket to discuss the proposal and rule on the changes within 150 days. If a program is approved, it would have an annual 20 MW cap for two years, totaling 40 MW. Eligible systems must be sited outside of core forests, except for preferred sites.

In 2016, H.B. 8354 expanded Rhode Island's net metering rules to include community solar. Rhode Island's Renewable Energy Fund has provided community renewable incentives before community solar was officially enshrined.

The community net metered system can be owned by one of the participating customers, or be financed by a third party through lease arrangements or power/credit purchase agreements. The total amount of community net metering is capped at 30 MW until the end of 2018, after which the PUC may decide to expand or modify the aggregate amount after administrative process. On December 2016, the PUC determined that the public housing authorities are considered public entities and are not subject to the 30 MW cap in the community net metering program. Municipal Collaborative facilities, educational institutions, federal government, hospitals, and non-profits are also exempt from this cap. Active enabling legislation is required to expand the program past the 30 MW cap; the cap was met in 2019.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: Rhode Island
Incentive Type: Community Solar Rules
Web Site:
Administrator: Office of Energy Resources
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Photovoltaics
Applicable Utilities: Rhode Island Energy
System Capacity Limit: 10 MW
Program Capacity Limit: 30 MW
Participant Credit Rate: Retail rate


Name: R.I. Gen. Laws § 39-26.4-2
Name: R.I. Gen. Laws § 39-26.4-3


Name: George Sfinarolakis
Organization: Director, Lead by Example Program
Phone: (401) 574-9101

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.