|Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
||Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Electric, Anaerobic Digestion, Small Hydroelectric, Ocean Thermal, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels
||Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Fed. Government, Multi-Family Residential, Agricultural, Institutional
|Applicable Utilities:||Investor-owned utilities|
|System Capacity Limit:||5 MW (systems must be "reasonably designed" to generate only up to 100% of annual electricity consumption)|
|Aggregate Capacity Limit:||3% of peak load (2 MW reserved for systems under 50 kW)|
|Net Excess Generation:||Credited at avoided cost; rolled over to next bill or purchased by utility|
|REC Ownership:||Not addressed|
R.I. Gen. Laws § 39-26.4|
Rhode Island allows net metering for systems up to five megawatts (MW) in capacity that are designed to generate up to 100% of the electricity that a home or other facility uses. Systems that generate electricity using solar energy, wind energy, ocean-thermal energy, geothermal energy, small hydropower, biogas from anaerobic digestion, or fuel cells using any of these energy sources are eligible. All customers of electric distribution companies are eligible. The aggregate limit of net-metered systems in Rhode Island is 3% of peak load, and 2 MW is reserved for systems less than 50 kW.
A system generally must be owned by the customer of record and sited on the customer's premises (in the same geographic location). However, facilities (1) owned by municipalities or multi-municipal collaboratives or (2) owned and operated by a developer on behalf of a municipality or multi-municipal collaborative through a "municipal net metering financing arrangement"* are also eligible. Meter aggregation is generally allowed, and special provisions exist to accommodate meter aggregation for farm-based systems that serve facilities in close proximity to each other.
The rate credited for kilowatt-hours (kWh) generated that do not exceed the customer's kWh consumption for that billing period is equal to the utility's retail rate (minus a very small conservation charge per kWh). Any excess kWh that do not exceed 125% of the customer's kWh consumption for that billing period are credited at the utility's avoided cost rate. Excess credit may be carried forward to the next bill or purchased by the utility (at its discretion). To facilitate the administration of billing, utilities may estimate a net-metered customer's generation and consumption over a 12-month period.
Otherwise, the rates (including customer charges and demand charges) that apply to a net-metered customer must be the same rates that would apply if the same customer were not net metering. Utilities may not impose any other charges on net-metered customers. Net-metered customers are exempt from back-up or standby rates commensurate with the size of the net-metered system. Utilities my recover through rates any revenue shortfall caused by this exemption.
* A "municipal net metering financing arrangement" is defined as an arrangement between a municipality or multi-municipal collaborative and a private entity to facilitate the financing and operation of a net-metered system. Such systems are owned and operated by the private entity and must be located on property owned or controlled by the municipality or one of the municipalities.