Rhode Island home to largest rooftop solar power in New England - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

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Rhode Island home to largest rooftop solar power in New England

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by ABC6 News Reporter Mark Curtis

mcurtis@abc6.com

Governor Chafee flipping the switch on a huge conversion to solar energy.

Eight thousand–five hundred rooftop panels now absorbing sunlight on this windy day, above two huge warehouses inside the Quonset Business Park.

"It's good for Rhode Island. It's great for the Park. You know we are the largest renewable energy rooftop solar array in New England," said Steven DiCenso, one of the owners of West Davisville Commons where the solar panels are located.

Energy from the sun is absorbed in the panels and then is sold to National Grid.

"So we want to drive down our electricity cost here in Rhode Island – that's our goal. And whether it is solar or wind or hydro, which we are trying to get down here – hydropower. Clean, renewable energies," said Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) Rhode Island.

The solar rooftops cover an area larger than three football fields.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "The developer of this project is not done. In fact he's looking for more rooftop locations in Rhode Island, to install more solar panels like these."

The Quonset project created 50 jobs and enough energy to power hundreds of Rhode Island homes.

"We are, we're absolutely looking for other flat roofs and also ground mount system opportunities," said Zaid Ashai, CEO of Nexamp, Inc., which designed and installed the solar panels.

Mark Curtis asked, "And that will generate electricity and jobs?"

"Yes, absolutely," Ashai said.

While the solar panels can power 500 houses, the state has a long way to go.

Rhode Island has an estimated 250 thousand homes.

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