Community Solar Program Comes to Life in Rhode Island as TurningPoint Energy and Nautilus Solar Announce Community Solar Projects in West Greenwich and North Smithfield

Providence, RI – July 15, 2019 – TurningPoint Energy and Nautilus Solar announce today the commencement of two Rhode Island-based community solar power plants that are planned for construction, representing 19.1 megawatts (AC) of community solar capacity.   The 6.68MW Hopkins Hill project in West Greenwich is fully developed and expected to be operational by early Q1 2020 and the 12.42MW King project in North Smithfield is expected to be operational by the end of 2020.

These projects were fully developed by TurningPoint Energy as part of the State of Rhode Island’s Community Net Metering Solar Pilot Program, created in 2016, which is focused on providing renewable energy benefits and reducing costs for its residential customers.

Utilizing its full-service platform, Nautilus Solar will be responsible for the project management, long-term asset management and maintenance services for the projects.

Community solar is unique because it offers a hassle-free way for residential customers to adopt solar energy by subscribing to a local project. Residents who had previously been unable to participate in solar energy due to their own site constraints can now enroll with zero upfront cost and without the need to install a system on their home.

Nautilus Solar and Arcadia Power are now enrolling customers in these projects. Spots are limited, so those who are interested should sign up at https://www.arcadiapower.com/lp9-ri/.

“Community solar is a great option for people who do not have access to solar power, such as those who may not have a suitable roof for panels, renters, or low-to-moderate income earners,” said State Energy Commissioner, Carol Grant. “Through community programs like these, now most Rhode Islanders have access to clean power at rates that are often lower than what they are paying now.”

Beyond the customer-level benefits, these community solar projects will also benefit local communities both economically and environmentally.

  • Environmental: Reduction of pollutants into the local atmosphere:[i]
    • More than 23,000 tons of carbon eliminated annually.
    • Nearly 2,600,000 gallons of gasoline eliminated annually.
    • Nearly 5,000 passenger vehicles removed from the road annually.
    • Planting of pollinator-friendly ground cover creates habitat for bees, birds, small mammals, and other wildlife.
  • Taxes: Over $2,800,000 in personal property taxes generated over the two system’s operational life.
  • Jobs:
    • The development process has utilized various local legal, consulting, engineering and land study firms’ expertise.
    • The construction projects will create upwards of 200 jobs over a 12-18-month process.
    • Regional operation and maintenance service firm will service the project site over the long term.

TurningPoint Energy selected Nautilus Solar as the long-term owner and operator of the projects. Nautilus Solar and Arcadia Power, a digital utility that makes it easy and free for customers to subscribe to community solar projects online, are leading customer subscriptions for these projects.

DEPCOM Power, the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company hired to build the projects, plans to commence full construction of the Hopkins Hill project in the summer of 2019 and finish by early 2020. Civil construction for the King projects is anticipated to start in the summer of 2019 with completion forecast in 2020.

“These projects demonstrate collective community solar pioneering and leadership by the State of Rhode Island, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), the Towns of West Greenwich and North Smithfield, and TurningPoint Energy,” said Jared Schoch, president of TurningPoint Energy. “These well-planned, well-sited, and well-developed solar projects are now open for subscribers and will soon be completed successfully as part of Rhode Island’s pilot program for community solar.”

“It is exciting to be a part of this first step for community solar in Rhode Island and to continue the great work of TurningPoint Energy,” said Nautilus Solar CEO Jim Rice. “These projects symbolize Nautilus Solar’s commitment to community solar for customers across Rhode Island.”

The King Project abuts the Landfill Resource and Recovery Superfund site that is currently undergoing a long-term remedial response under the oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency.  TurningPoint Energy, Nautilus Solar and DEPCOM Power have coordinated closely with RIDEM and EPA representatives to ensure that the project design has considered any potential future remediation which may be required.  The project will incorporate environmental measures including a pollinator-friendly seed mix around and underneath the array.

“I would like to commend the property owners, cooperating neighbors and TurningPoint Energy for diligently working through the many details required for approval of a project that faced many challenges.  This is an optimal location and a great project that will create significant environmental and economic benefits,” said Gary Ezovski, North Smithfield Town Administrator.

The Hopkins Hill Project is located in a rural area within the Town of West Greenwich.  It will sell power to residents in West Greenwich as well as other residents in the state.  To ensure the project is not visible from any neighboring residential properties, a vegetated buffer consisting of native plants will be installed.  The project also incorporates a number of environmental benefits including sponsorship of two University of Rhode Island Watershed Watch water quality monitoring sites for the duration of the project, along the tributaries to Fisherville Brook. The site will be swept for turtles prior to construction, will include wildlife-friendly fencing, and a pollinator-friendly seed mix will be installed around the array perimeter.

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Media Inquiries: Elaine Schoch, Vice President Marketing Communication, TurningPoint Energy, eschoch at tpoint-e dot com

About Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC
Founded in 2006, Nautilus Solar Energy is a leading national solar acquisition, development and asset management company headquartered in Summit, NJ.  Nautilus focuses on acquiring, developing, executing and managing distributed and utility-scaled generation solar projects.  In over 12 years, Nautilus has invested over $1 billion in capital and provides asset management services to distributed, community solar and utility projects throughout North America. Join Nautilus on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and visit www.nautilussolar.com or email info@nautilussolar.com for more information.

About TurningPoint Energy
TurningPoint Energy is a clean energy development, advisory and investment company with solar development projects underway throughout the United States.  Its principals have experience developing solar projects for utility and community solar clients totaling more than $2.5 billion in value over 1.1GW of operating solar power plants throughout the United States within the last decade. TurningPoint Energy is a lean, privately-held firm that adapts to its clients’ needs and finds ways to invest in its clients and their communities…at every turning point. For more information about TurningPoint Energy, visit https://turningpoint-energy.com.

[i] Carbon equivalencies provided by the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.