Solar farm in RI expected to save Johnston, Providence millions

A solar farm made up of 9,400 solar panels is now up and running in Johnston. (Southern Sky Renewable Energy RI)

A solar farm made up of 9,400 solar panels is now up and running in Johnston.

The farm is built on top of what was a 32-acre private landfill, which had been capped and closed more than 25 years ago, according to a press release from Southern Sky Renewable Energy RI.

Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena said it will save taxpayers millions while protecting the environment.

“The Town of Johnston is putting vacant, unusable land back to work to benefit our taxpayers with electricity savings, enhance tax payments and scholarships for our senior high school students,” Polisena noted in the release. “The former landfill is producing clean energy for our town buildings while also generating tax revenue.”

The array is now producing clean energy for not only Johnston, but Providence, as well, as the site is split into two systems to generate power for each community.

“This project is an important part of our strategy to become a carbon neutral city by 2050,” Elorza. “With this project and the Cranston site, over half of our municipal buildings, including the schools, will be powered by clean, local solar electricity. We are proud to be a part of this work, saving taxpayer dollars, diversifying our energy supply, and supporting local labor.”

The release noted that renewable energy produced by the array will yield environmental benefits equal to taking 770 vehicles off the road annually and powering 538 households.

“A Street is an example of what can happen when the private and public sector are committed to renewable energy and progress,” said company President Ralph A. Palumbo. “Southern Sky is proud to work with Mayor Polisena and Mayor Elorza to re-purpose a landfill site to generate clean energy and savings for their communities.”

Southern Sky Renewable Energy RI is the leading solar developer in the state.

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