Solar farm replaces former North Providence landfill

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NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — State and local leaders celebrated the completion of a new solar farm in North Providence on Wednesday.

Southern Sky Renewable Energy, the company behind the solar farm, said the former municipal landfill on Smithfield Road is now producing clean energy for the town. According to the company, the solar farm is offsetting emissions that are equal to burning 2.9 million pounds of coal annually.

“Renewable energy is the future of energy in Rhode Island, and this new solar array is a perfect example of our progress,” Gov. Gina Raimondo said.

The landfill has been closed for the past 35 years. The 12-acre site is now home to an array of more than 6,700 solar panels.

“We accomplished our mission of turning this 12-acre parcel of barren land into an income-producing solar farm, which in our opinion, is a win-win for our state and our town,” North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi said.

In addition to the energy savings, the company said the town will receive approximately $200,000 in rent payments for the use of the land, as well as property tax payments.

“The Smithfield Road solar array will yield significant economic and environmental benefits for North Providence,” Lombardi said. “This project has cleaned up and repaired our former landfill and will power our municipal buildings, saving taxpayers millions of dollars and adding additional tax revenue.”

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