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A wind turbine in Vermont. (Image: futuremar768 via Flickr)
A wind turbine in Vermont. (Image: futuremar768 via Flickr)

Lawmakers drop energy initiative from state budget proposal

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Legislative leaders are dropping a clean energy initiative from Rhode Island’s proposed state budget over concerns that it could unfairly favor a wind-energy developer.

Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says it’s a distraction, so lawmakers are dropping the entire renewable-energy initiative from the budget.

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the $8.9 billion budget Wednesday.

The article would have expanded “net metering” incentives that help offset electricity costs for owners of solar panels and other renewable energy sources.

The Providence Journal reported Monday that one provision in the budget article would have helped North Kingstown-based Wind Energy Development.

Critics said the language let the company circumvent a ruling by the state Public Utilities Commission in a dispute with utility National Grid over interconnection costs.

In related news, Shumlin signs renewable energy bill after long battle.

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