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Photo via Bowen's Wharf

On Thursday, November 12, Solarize Aquidneck will host a community workshop-­‐Solar 101,for residents of Aquidneck Island interested in learning more about the advantages of solar installations on their homes and businesses.

The workshop will be held at 7 p.m. at the Community College of Rhode Island, Newport Campus. Those who can’t attend the workshop can sign upfor more information at

The workshop is the first of several to be hosted by Solarize Aquidneck, a partnership between the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission, the Towns of Middletown and Portsmouth, City of Newport, RI Office of Energy Resources, Commerce RI and the non-­‐profit marketing firm SmartPower.

The purpose of Solarize Aquidneck is to encourage residents to install solar energy systems by providing deep discounts and financial incentives. Through Solarize Aquidneck, homeowners can greatly reduce their utility bills to save money while producing clean, green and local electricity for Aquidneck Island.

On October 26th, Solarize Aquidneck began signing up residents and business owners for the program, which will be open for signup through February 15th. The program works by combining the power of group purchasing with federal and state incentives and a federal tax credit. As a result, program participants can install solar systems at savings up to half the market rate, with a typical system payback period of about six to seven years.

The Solarize Aquidneck team selected three solar installers for the Island through a competitive bidding process, and assigned each installer the lead marketing role in one community. The selected installers are Newport Solar for Newport, RGS Energy for Middletown, and Direct Energy Solar for Portsmouth. Homeowners in any community may request a quote and choose Aquidneck
to work with any of the three installers; however they will only receive direct marketing materials from the lead installer for their town.

Solarize Aquidneck is based on a model that has been successful in more than 100 communities in Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut. It is designed to reduce the cost of solar, making it a smart investment for homeowners and businesses. Solarize relies on four key components to reduce installation costs: 1) competitive bidding among installers, 2) a tiered pricing system which reduces costs for all as more people sign contracts, 3) a community-­‐based marketing approach which includes education and uniform pricing , 4) a finite program period to encourage participation.

At the Solar 101 event on November 12th, residents will meet the selected installers and learn about the group purchasing discounts, solar equipment options, financial incentives and returns. Residents will have a chance to ask questions, and to sign up for free quotes on installation. Light refreshments will be provided.Similar workshops will be held in each of the three Island communitiesover the next several months. Dates will be posted on AIPC’s website,

For more information about the Solarize Aquidneck program or to request a free quotation, call the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission at 845-­‐9299 or visit

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.