SOUTH KINGSTOWN — At its meeting Monday, the town council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution authorizing the town manager to establish a South Kingstown Solar Consortium Agreement in conjunction with the University of Rhode Island and Narragansett.
“As we move forward with developing solar projects in South Kingstown, what we are looking to do is to have a joint agreement with the town of Narragansett and the University of Rhode Island for the management of solar contracts that any of the parties are to agree to,” said South Kingstown Town Manager Stephen Alfred.
South Kingstown will act as the managing partner for the consortium, Alfred added. As the managing partner, South Kingstown will sign the contracts with Competitive Energy Services, LLC (CES), a solar energy consulting service based in Portland, Maine.
The town council voted unanimously to authorize the town manager to execute a contract with Providence-based Energy Development Partners (EDP) for virtual off-site net metering, allowing the partners to receive renewable energy credits for the solar power contributed to the power grid.
“We’ll be committing the power load of the town of South Kingstown and the power load of the school department — the same goes for Narragansett with their municipality and schools and the University of Rhode Island — to obtain the renewable energy credits,” Alfred explained. The contract with EDP is expected to earn around $2.2 million in renewable energy credits for the town of South Kingstown, and around $1.7 million for the South Kingstown School District, over a 25-year period, Alfred added.
Those renewable energy credits can either be held or can eventually be sold. The town council also unanimously agreed to continue an existing consulting contract, originally granted in September, 2015, with CES through September of next year for an amount not to exceed $22,000.
The town council also agreed to award a 25-year contract to CES thereafter for the monthly management and accounting services associated with the contract with EDP, subject to agreement from the town of Narragansett and URI.
“This is the most complex agreement I’ve had to work on,” Alfred said. “We’re talking about a major piece of work here - probably the first of its kind.”