Ecogy Energy breaks ground on the largest rooftop solar portfolio in Rhode Island

Ocean State Job Lot, a North Kingstown, R.I., discount retailer, has partnered with Ecogy Energy, a Newport, Rhode Island developer, financier and owner-operator on the largest rooftop solar portfolio in Rhode Island. The solar portfolio will be hosted atop OSJL stores across Rhode Island, from Westerly to Woonsocket. The portfolio commenced today with a construction kick off ceremony at OSJL’s store in Johnston, RI. 

“I would like to applaud Ocean State Job Lot for its commitment to expanding renewable energy in Rhode Island and reducing its carbon footprint,” said Governor Daniel McKee. “This solar portfolio is building upon Rhode Island’s aggressive strategy to combat climate change and is reflective of the remarkable strides our state is making towards a complete renewable energy transition.”

OSJL’s partnership with Ecogy solidifies OSJL’s position as a solar energy leader in the state of Rhode Island and illustrates the impactful environmental initiatives needed by companies and organizations to advance Rhode Island’s progressive climate goals. The portfolio, made possible by the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Growth Program, will help support the state’s renewable energy transition and directly contribute to Rhode Island’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the 2021 Act on Climate. 

“At Ocean State Job Lot, our focus is on value. This partnership epitomizes that by sharing unused space on our roofs for the benefit of the greater community and to further renewable energy production, especially amid a global pandemic,” said Marc Perlman, Principal Owner and CEO of OSJL. “We look forward to partnering with Ecogy Energy on this portfolio and demonstrating to the citizens of Rhode Island our continued commitment to environmental sustainability and grid resilience.”

The projects in the portfolio provide a range of benefits to local communities, in the form of clean energy jobs and generating additional tax revenue. In addition, while Rhode Island communities are currently recovering from the COVID-19 crisis, this solar portfolio will provide much needed relief by reinvesting in the local economy. As many of the projects are located in hard-hit areas, these projects will bring economic benefits to the communities that need them most.

The solar portfolio will also promote Rhode Island’s forward-thinking climate change initiatives. Notably, the solar portfolio will significantly increase in-state renewable energy production while avoiding negative land use impacts often associated with traditional ground-mount solar development. 

This solar portfolio is just one representation of OSJL’s continued dedication to expanding sustainability initiatives company-wide and to giving back to their community. For instance, in 2018, in an effort to lower their carbon footprint, OSJL invested $14 million to modernize its distribution center and store locations with high-efficiency lighting. As a direct result of this complete LED rollout, OSJL reduced their overall energy consumption by 17.4 million kWh in just one year. According to the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator that is equivalent to carbon dioxide emissions from 1.3 million gallons of gasoline consumed or the carbon sequestered by 15,108 acres of U.S. forests in one year.

“Thanks to the leadership of Governor McKee and the Rhode Island General Assembly, our state has charted a course toward net-zero emissions by 2050,” said Nicholas Ucci, Commissioner of the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources. “To achieve this bold, but vitally important goal, it is critical that we accelerate our adoption of more sustainable energy resources. I congratulate Ocean State Job Lot for leading by example through their adoption of renewable and energy
efficiency measures that support our state’s economic, energy, and environmental policy goals.”

OSJL conducted a rigorous process to find the right partner in the next phase of their sustainability journey. Ultimately, Ecogy was chosen due to its expertise in rooftop community solar, with a diverse portfolio across nine states, D.C. and the Caribbean. While executing this portfolio, Ecogy is committed to developing well sited, close to load solar systems that will require intense engineering to complete, a vast amount of collaboration, and extensive operational resources. Over the course of its lifetime the portfolio is expected to generate over 59 million kWh of electricity, which is equivalent to the carbon emissions from 4.7 million gallons of gasoline consumed or the carbon sequestered by 51,687 acres of U.S forests in one year.

Ecogy Energy

“We are thrilled to engage in this partnership with a true leader in sustainability like Ocean State Job Lot,” said Ecogy Principal, Jack Bertuzzi. “At a time when much is changing, this solar portfolio will expand renewable energy generation by harnessing the power of rooftops and will provide a reliable revenue stream for Rhode Island communities. Ecogy, commends OSJL for setting forth a trailblazing model of environmental and ethical responsibility that should be followed by companies and organizations operating across Rhode Island and the rest of the nation.”

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