The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), in partnership with the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources and the Rhode Island Resource Conservation and Development Area Council, today announced $67,237 in grants to help farmers “green” their operations and save energy and money. The awards, funded through the Rhode Island Farm Energy Program (RIFEP), will support solar and energy efficiency projects at four local farms across the state.

“These awards will reduce energy costs and bring clean, reliable, and affordable renewable energy to Rhode Island farms,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “Making continued investments in our green economy benefits our state, our environment, and our families. We congratulate our grant recipients and all partners involved in this effort.”

“We are pleased that these farms can offset their energy use and reduce their bills through these clean energy projects,” said Office of Energy Resources Commissioner Carol Grant. “Along with people all over the state, they are helping to advance Rhode Island’s clean energy future.”

Reducing energy costs allows farms to focus on strengthening their core businesses.

Funded projects include:

Barrington Farm School, Barrington — $8,000 Installation of a 1.18 kW ground mount solar array that will power irrigation pumps and provide electricity for the farm stand.

Pat’s Pastured, East Greenwich — $20,000 Installation of an 8.28 kW ground mount solar array that will help offset electrical use for the farm’s livestock operation.

Windmist Farm, Jamestown – $20,000 Installation of a 25.21 kW roof mount solar photovoltaic system that will help offset the energy use for the livestock farming operation.

Paris St. Pierre, Little Compton– $19,237.20 Installation of an 11.2 kW roof mount solar array that will help offset the equestrian operation’s energy use.

DEM continues to work across many fronts to strengthen Rhode Island’s green economy and assist local farmers in growing their businesses. Rhode Island is one of few states nationally where the number of farms is on the rise. There are more than 1,200 sprinkled across the state, a 44 percent increase since 2002. The state’s green industries account for more than 15,000 jobs and contribute $2.5 billion to the economy each year. Last spring, $54,000 was awarded under the RIFEP’s fourth grant round; the awards supported renewable energy and energy efficiency projects at Legend’s Creek Farm in Foster, Skinny Dip Farm in Little Compton, and at Richard Levesque’s equestrian farm in Smithfield. Funding for RIFEP is made possible through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and 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.