Rhode Island State House

Sen. Erin Lynch Prata (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston) and Rep. Lauren H. Carson’s legislation (2017-S 0562 / 2017-H 5575) to create a statewide solar permit application now heads to Governor Raimondo’s desk for her signature after passing both the House of Representatives and the Senate tonight.

The bill would require the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, in conjunction with the RI Building Commission, to create rules and regulations to formulate a statewide solar energy permit application.

“Clean and green energy is the future of our energy infrastructure and solar is one of the more promising technologies in this emerging field.  In order to protect our environment and grow these green energy jobs of the future, we as a state must offer a predictable and universal path toward installing solar energy systems and this legislation accomplishes this goal,” said Senator Lynch Prata in a press release.

“The need for clean, green, and renewable energy sources is only rising by the day and this legislation will enable our residents and businesses to utilize this technology in an easy and foreseeable manner, hopefully setting the stage for many more solar installations in our state,” said Representative Carson.

The legislation is an effort to streamline the statewide permitting process for the installation of solar systems that removes unnecessary regulatory barriers, resulting in a predictable and less-costly process for solar developers.  The single permit would encompass both building and electric permits for solar energy systems with Rhode Island’s municipalities.

The cosponsors of the legislation are Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence) and Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick), Rep. Aaron Regunberg (D-Dist. 4, Providence), Rep. Deborah L. Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown), and Rep. Susan R. Donovan (D-Dist. 69, Bristol. Portsmouth).

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 - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

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 ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.