RI Launches New Statewide Solar Permitting Process

Jan 3, 2018

State regulators have made it easier for solar companies to do business in the Ocean State with a new statewide permit application for solar projects. 

The application, which went into effect Monday, replaces a process that varied from city to city. 

Chris Kearns, chief of program development at the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, said a statewide application should help streamline the process for installing solar panels.

"Solar projects will potentially get built at a quicker pace because the permitting process has been clarified, so there is no longer any discrepancies or disputes from one local municipality to another," Kearns said. 

Kearns added a statewide permit could benefit Rhode Island’s economy.   

"Having a consistent application form where you’re not having to learn a new process with each local municipality is a big selling point for companies in terms of entering the Rhode Island market," Kearns said. 

The statewide solar permit application is a requirement for all residential and commercial projects, regardless of scale.

To date, 3,405 solar projects representing 50.03 megawatts of capacity have come online in Rhode Island.