The bill introduces the Renewable Ready Program, which is aimed at promoting renewable energy development on previously contaminated properties and other designated sites to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect forests. It establishes a new chapter in Title 42 of the General Laws, defining key terms and setting criteria for eligible sites, including contaminated sites, state-owned properties, and areas near highways or owned by electric distribution companies. The bill also creates the Renewable Ready Fund within the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, which will provide financial assistance to eligible entities for site preparation and interconnection costs. The fund will be supported by various sources, including state appropriations, federal and private contributions, and application fees. No deletions from current law are mentioned.

The bill outlines the responsibilities of the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank in managing the Renewable Ready Fund, including reviewing applications, ensuring compliance with application procedures, and establishing application fees. Funds are to be used for connecting renewable energy projects to the electric grid, but not for interconnection studies or preliminary work required by the electric distribution company or public utilities commission. Conditions for fund distribution are specified, and the bill mandates that any refunds or reimbursements received by fund recipients be returned to the bank. The bill also amends the Infrastructure Bank's annual report requirements and authorizes the bank to recover funds through superior court action if necessary. Additionally, it encourages project labor agreements and local hiring for large projects. The act will be effective upon passage, with no changes to existing law indicated.

Statutes affected:
7616  SUB A: 46-12.2-4.3