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Rhode Island

Every day, Rhode Islanders rely on the energy grid to power our modern way of life. Thanks to a network of transmission lines that carry energy from where it’s generated to where it’s used, we’re able to heat and cool our homes, keep the lights on at our businesses, get online for work and school, and even charge our vehicles. We rarely think twice about it — until the power goes out. Unfortunately, like much of Rhode Island’s infrastructure, transmission lines were built in the 1950s and 1960s, and were only intended to have a 50-year lifespan. We’re way overdue for an upgrade.

Improving Rhode Island’s existing transmission infrastructure will ensure we can all enjoy reliable energy while also lowering energy costs, bringing thousands of new living-wage jobs to the state, and accelerating the clean energy transition.

Transmission Means Jobs.

Thousands of Living-Wage Jobs

Rhode Island is leading the nation in offshore wind energy. It was the first state in the nation to successfully develop an offshore wind farm, creating thousands of new jobs for Rhode Islanders. With even more projected job-creating offshore wind farms, the needs for upgraded transmission systems are amplified. 

By some estimates, the U.S. needs to build as many as 91,000 miles of new transmission lines in the next 13 years to meet our clean energy goals — which means new high-paying jobs across the country. Here in Rhode Island, with the right clean energy policies in place, as many as 5,013 good-paying transmission jobs could be created in the next 30 years.

Transmission Means Lower Costs.

Electricity Savings for Homes and Businesses

Right now, Rhode Island is ranked 7th for the highest retail electricity price in the nation. And with recent record-breaking seasons like last winter, the price is expected to continue to rise by 25% due to high natural gas prices. But it doesn’t have to be this way. 

With an updated transmission grid, we can transition to less expensive clean energy and get electricity to homes across Rhode Island for a fraction of the cost. Expanding transmission infrastructure across the eastern US will allow Rhode Island to tap into lower-cost wind energy and cut the average household electricity bill in the East by one-third. That means the typical East Coast household would save $300 every year on utility costs. All in all, that adds up to $600 million in savings annually. 

Transmission Means Clean Energy.

More Power for Rhode Island’s Clean Economy

In 2016, Rhode Island became the first state in the nation to develop an offshore wind farm, and those five wind turbines now power over 17,000 Rhode Island homes. And yet, clean energy isn’t the norm in Rhode Island. The state still heavily relies on burning natural gas for energy, in part because our existing transmission system can’t effectively distribute clean energy at the rate it’s produced. If we upgrade our transmission infrastructure, we can fully transition to clean energy and create more offshore wind farms across the state.

Transmission Means the Lights Stay On.

Everyone Gets Power, No Matter the Temperature

Each year, extreme heat and winter storms cause more power outages in Rhode Island. As climate change drives more extreme temperatures in the summer and winter and everyone reaches for the thermostat at once, the grid can’t keep up with demand. That’s when we experience blackouts. But, transmission infrastructure can help ensure energy reliability. A strong transmission grid will make it easier for utilities to coordinate resources over a wide geographic footprint to help keep the lights, heat, and AC on. With Rhode Island’s offshore wind potential and an upgraded grid, we can ensure everyone has power during unpredictable times.

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A more reliable grid. New jobs. Cleaner power. Transmission makes it possible.