Rhode Island Project Increases Solar Energy Capacity

East Providence, RI – GeoEnvironmental Inc. (GZA) has helped Kearsarge Energy successfully develop and commission a 2.8-megawatt solar energy array on a former petroleum storage facility that is undergoing environmental remediation.

The project, located on a 9.5-acre site on Dexter Road, includes 6,884 solar photovoltaic modules that will generate 3.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity yearly, or enough to meet the needs of more than 300 typical Rhode Island households.

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) has agreed to purchase discounted net metered credits associated with the East Providence solar farm, which are projected to deliver RIPTA more than $5 million in savingsover 20 years.

Under the oversight of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), GZA has been a cost-effective remediation of subsurface petroleum product at the site through controlled biodegradation, bioventing, and other technologies, with one-third of the site closed in 2016. GZA demonstrated to RIDEM that the Kearsarge solar installation would be fully compatible with the site’s conditions and ongoing remediation efforts.

The East Providence project created 40 construction jobs, $280,000 in new annual property tax revenue for the city, and $362,500 in local electric grid infrastructure upgrades. More than 60% of the 9.5-acre site is being preserved as open space with new shrubbery, turf and other natural vegetation.

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