Solar Electricity: A Good Deal for North Kingstown

Question 2 on the November 5 ballot asks voters if the Town of North Kingstown should lease land to a developer for a public/private partnership for solar electricity generation. This is in line with the town’s goals of reducing electricity costs, generating income from idle properties, and promoting renewable energy.

The project, developed through the town’s Renewable Energy Committee (REC), will produce enough energy to cover the electricity consumption of all town government operations. The solar energy developer will cover the costs of equipment, installation and maintenance, will lease the land under the panels from the town and will pay property tax. This will be done by developing two underutilized town parcels, one of which is a closed landfill, the other mostly cleared land surrounding one of the town’s wellheads. Neither site has significant forest or other
important vegetation.

Former REC and past Town Council member Kevin Maloney, talking about the outcome of the REC study, said “I am very pleased with the results. These are the best two town sites and a highly endorsed developer. Unlike the Saunderstown Road issues, both areas are sparsely vegetated so there should be minimal tree removal and in sparsely populated areas where hopefully no neighborhoods should be affected. Both sites are also very close to substations and the power grid.”

The ballot question asks voters for permission to enter into a 25-year lease, which roughly matches the 25- to 30-year life expectancy of solar installations. Under the State’s Remote Net Metering program, the town will be credited for the electricity produced and will share the savings with the developer.

Question 2 will help reduce the Town’s electricity costs and produce income from idle property while providing clean, renewable energy for many years.

Please vote YES on Question 2.

See more about the solar leases here.