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Federal funds to promote renewable energy

PROVIDENCE – Federal funds will further Rhode Island’s renewable energy ambitions, Governor Chafee said in a news release Wednesday afternoon.

The state will receive $6.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which will be used to promote and support energy-efficiency practices, renewable energy investments and site plans for wind, hydroelectric and solar energy, Chafee said.

“These funds will provide a valuable resource for businesses evaluating how to operate more efficiently and effectively,” Chafee said.

The money will be administered through a collaboration of the state’s Office of Energy Resources, Business Energy Assistance Program and Economic Development Corporation.

“Energy is vital to economic development,” said Ken Payne, administrator of the Office of Energy Resources. “And it’s well understood that Rhode Island is at the end of the energy pipeline.”

Renewable energy, said Keith Stokes, executive director of the Economic Development Corporation, “will help create and retain quality jobs in Rhode Island.”

The federal funds, according to the governor’s office, will be used in several ways: $2.5 million to establish a Business Energy Efficiency Fund providing lost-cost loans to energy-efficiency projects; $2.5 million for the state’s Renewable Energy Fund; $850,000 for evaluation and promotion of land-based wind energy, solar and hydroelectric energy; $500,000 for marketing and management; and $150,000 for outreach to businesses.