Distributed Generation Standard Contracts

May 08, 2015


This program is no longer offered. It has been superseded by the Renewable Growth Program. 

NOTE: The third enrollment period for standard contracts for 2014 closed on November 7.

Rhode Island enacted legislation (H.B. 6104) in June 2011 establishing a feed-in tariff for new distributed renewable energy generators up to three megawatts (MW) in capacity. The law requires electric distribution companies to enter into standard contracts for an aggregate capacity of at least 40 MW by the end of 2014. Standard contracts include a fixed payment rate and a 15-year term, and generally vary by generator capacity and type.

Eligible renewables include solar energy, wind energy, ocean-thermal energy, geothermal energy, small hydropower, biomass facilities that maintain compliance with current air permits,* and fuel cells using renewable resources. Separate classes have been established for “large” generators and “small” generators. Small generators include solar energy systems between 50 kilowatts (kW) and 500 kW, and wind energy systems between 50 kW and 1.5 MW. The Distributed Generation Standard Contract Board will determine capacity limits for other “small” systems, but limits may not exceed 1 MW. (The Board is authorized to modify this program in several ways, as specified in the authorizing legislation.) Payment rates vary by system size and type.

The contracting period is spread over four years. The following annual minimum targets for standard contracts have been established:

  • By December 30, 2011: 5 MW of aggregate capacity
  • By December 30, 2012: 20 MW of aggregate capacity
  • By December 30, 2013: 30 MW of aggregate capacity
  • By December 30, 2014: 40 MW of aggregate capacity

The Board must set ceiling prices by October 15 for the following calendar year. Each electric distribution company must conduct one standard contract enrollment period in 2011 and at least three enrollment periods in subsequent program years. Each enrollment period will be open for two weeks.

Eligible small and large projects will be assessed separately, and projects from each class will be awarded standard contracts based on the lowest proposed prices received. Eligible systems that are net-metered may apply to sell excess output.

* Waste-to-energy combustion systems are explicitly excluded.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Rhode Island
Incentive Type: Performance-Based Incentive
Web Site: https://www.nationalgridus.com/narragansett/business/energyeff/4_dist_gen.asp
Administrator: Distributed Generation Standard Contract Board
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Geothermal Electric
  • Solar Thermal Electric
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Wind (All)
  • Biomass
  • Hydroelectric
  • Landfill Gas
  • Ocean Thermal
  • Wind (Small)
  • Hydroelectric (Small)
  • Anaerobic Digestion
  • Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels
Incentive Amount: 2014 Ceiling Rates
PV (50-200 kW): 25.75 cents/kWh
PV (201-500 kW): 25.90 cents/kWh
PV (501-1,250 kW): 22.25 cents/kWh
Wind (50-999 kW): 15.55 cents/kWh
Wind (1,000- 1,500 kW): 16.35 cents/kWh
Anaerobic Digestion (50-500 kW): 17.70 cents/kWh
Small Scale Hydropower (50-500kW): 17.25 cents/kWh
Maximum Incentive: Higher incentives are provided for systems not including Bonus Depreciation, and for systems not including federal tax incentives
Terms: 15-year standard contract with fixed payment rate
Eligible System Size: Varies by enrollment period; maximum statutory system size is 3 MW, minimum statutory system size is 50 kW
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits: Projects must register with NEPOOL-GIS and designate National Grid to receive all RECs


Name: R.I. Gen. Laws § 39-26.2-1 et seq.
Date Enacted: 6/29/2011
Effective Date: 6/29/2011
Name: HB 5803
Date Enacted: 07/11/2013
Effective Date: 07/11/2013


Name: Christopher Kearns
Organization: Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources
Address: One Capitol Hill
Providence RI 02908-5890
Phone: (401) 574-9117
Email: christopher.kearns@energy.ri.gov

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.