May 2008

Allco Energy to build $45 million solar energy farm
Development hinges on passage of energy policies

Allco Renewable Energy of New York signed a letter of intent to build an eight-megawatt solar panel farm on the 100-acre site of the former Picillo pig farm on Perry Hill Road in Coventry, Rhode Island. Allco will have a 50-year lease on the land, paying Coventry $200,000 annually, or 4 percent of gross receipts, whichever is greater.

The proposed farm will cost about $45 million and will generate enough power to supply a small town.

The plan will involve erecting hundreds of 3-feet by 5-feet solar panels that would rotate from east to west to maximize their sun exposure throughout the day. Ninety percent of the site would be used for the panels.

The environmentally-friendly proposal will be a turnaround for the property, which include an 8-acre parcel that was declared a Superfund site after a 1977 discovery of more than 10,000 drums of hazardous waste improperly dumped there.

The development of the project is contingent upon the passage of new legislation (2008-H 7616 and 2008-S 2607) submitted by Representative Sullivan and Senator Joshua Miller to guarantee that the project will be allowed to feed the energy it produces into the electric grid and receive compensation for it. Commonly referred to as a “feed-in tariff” law, the legislation would require National Grid to purchase electricity generated from eligible renewable-energy producers at rates set by the Public Utilities Commission.