Energy in Rhode Island

Rhode Island produces very little of its own energy. Currently, 95% of our state’s energy comes from imported natural gas. The natural gas that we rely on to meet our increasing energy needs comes from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, drilling sites in Pennsylvania and New York. It is then distributed to Rhode Island and the rest of New England through a pipeline system.

Unfortunately, the pipeline is outdated and in dire need of capacity upgrades. In times of high energy consumption during the winter and summer, the energy grid is often strained due to capacity limitations. When the natural gas cannot meet our energy needs, other energy sources such as coal-fired and oil-fired power plants are called upon to help meet demand.

There are several problems with powering up these resources in times of high demand. First, they take nearly 24 hours to become operational once called upon. This could be a potentially deadly scenario when temperatures dip below freezing in the winter. Second, to start up these plants even for a short period of time is extremely expensive. During a five day period in the winter of 2013-2014, oil-fired and coal-fired power plants were called upon to help the grid meet the energy demands of Rhode Islanders and the rest of New England. This short period of high demand cost New England an estimated $1.3 billion. Lastly, oil and coal resources emit massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, lowering the air quality in our state.

Investing in renewable energy and specifically in wind will help Rhode Island create its own power, making our energy more secure and environmentally friendly while also creating jobs.

95
Of Rhode Island's Energy is Imported

(ISO 2016)

To learn more about the ISO’s report on natural gas and our energy infrastructure, please follow this link to a presentation created by Wind Energy Development, LLC. ISO New England Summary

To learn more about the production of natural gas, please follow this link to a presentation created by Wind Energy Development, LLC. Background on Fracking

Rhode Island Renewable Energy Development Proposals

Natural Gas

63%

Wind

33%

(ISO 2016)