Rhode Island Introduces Renewable Energy Sources Bill

By Paul Gipe


In a week of state action on feed-in tariffs, Rhode Island legislators have become the first on the east coast to launch debate on the policy. The tiny state’s move could have a big impact on other states on America’s eastern seaboard.

Rhode Island Representative Raymond Sullivan, Jr. (D-District 29) introduced H 7616 to create the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Sources Act Tuesday, February 26, 2008. The bill is co-sponsored by Representatives Patrick O`Neill (D-District 59), David Segal (D-District 2), Arthur Handy (D-District 18), and Thomas Winfield (D-District 53). O’Neill is Deputy Majority Leader.

Whether intentional or not, the action of Rhode Island representatives and their colleagues in Minnesota are building momentum toward the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference slated for March 4-6 in the nation’s capital.

Representative Sullivan’s H 7616 follows a pattern that has now been replicated in several other states. The bill is based upon Michigan’s HB 5218 introduced by Representative Kathleen Law in the fall of 2007.

Currently there are similar bills proposing a full system of feed-in tariffs in Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota.

There are also related bills in California though none following what has become known as the “Michigan Model”.

H 7616 Text

H7616 Status