This spring, National Grid will launch a new online marketplace that allows customers in Rhode Island to shop for solar and receive an incentive for improving energy efficiency at the same time.

That’s the word from GreentechMedia (article is here):

Customers who go solar through SolarWise RI will benefit from the stability of a guaranteed long-term payment from National Grid for their solar output, at prices set under the Growth program by the Rhode Island Distributed Generation Board.

Customers may also be eligible for a bonus solar incentive if they take steps to improve their energy consumption before installing a PV system. The more energy-saving measures a customer adopts, the higher their long-term solar payment stands to be.

Those who are suspicious of big utilities might see this as a ploy to pre-empt and control the solar market, and I’m sure that’s at least part of the thinking. But renewable energy won’t really displace fossil fuels unless utilities get on board.

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