Congratulations to the North Kingstown Renewable Energy Advisory Group. Other towns in Rhode Island have let aggressive solar contractors run amok, clear-cutting forests and building huge solar arrays near small residential neighborhoods. It appears that the NK group, led by Town Manager, Ralph Mollis, has taken a slower, more cautious and informed strategy.

An inventory of town-owned properties was taken where solar panels could be located. These include brownfield sites chosen with careful consideration for surrounding neighborhoods as well as habitat and watershed areas. It appears that an equally cautious and objective process was used to select the solar company to do the work. Kearsarge Energy has a long track record of successful projects done in compliance with local and state regulations.

After an earlier controversy about the siting of a solar farm in a residential area near Shermantown Road – a process which was halted by the Town Council led by Richard Welch – North Kingstown will now set a standard for the rest of Rhode Island. Mr. Mollis is quoted as saying that, “once built, (the projects) will provide the municipal and school departments with more than enough energy and at a discounted rate.”

It’s a real victory for North Kingstown taxpayers. The town will reduce its carbon footprint AND save taxpayers significant money – an estimated $675,000 per year!

Thanks to all the members of this volunteer group. Good things are possible when we work together!

Donna Hutchinson

North Kingstown

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