The Land Use Unit of the Division works with other federal and state agencies, programs, boards, committees, and councils and non-profit entities on the use, production and consumption of energy in the State. Ongoing technical planning advice and support is provided to municipalities and others in planning for the use and conservation of energy as well as the land use siting factors for the development of renewable resources.

Renewable Energy Siting Guidelines


A technical paper, Renewable Energy Siting Guidelines, Part 1 Interim Siting factors for Terrestrial Wind Energy Systems was issued in June 2012 by the Division. This paper addressed the land use and regulatory issues involved with siting terrestrial wind turbines. The paper is meant to serve as an informational guide for stakeholders interested in learning the basics of terrestrial wind power development and the existing framework for setting regulatory standards allowed by the Rhode Island Zoning Enabling Act.

State Guide Plan Element:

State Guide Plan Element: Energy 2035

A new State Guide Plan Element for energy policy was adopted by the State Planning Council on October 8, 2015. The new Element, Energy 2035, rescinds energy 2035 and replaces the State Guide Plan Element 781 adopted in 2002. Energy 2035 intended to guide the activities of the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) and the Land Use unit of the Division of Planning. The Element describes the existing state of Rhode Island’s energy system and sets goals and policies to improve energy security, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability in all sectors of energy production and consumption. It is intended to advance stewardship of the State’s use of energy resources and identifies activities needed to keep the energy systems on which the State depends functioning optimally. The Project Team, composed of staff from OER and the Land Use Unit worked closely with a 20 member advisory council to undertake research and analysis for the Plan. The Land Use staff provided functional oversight to the OER as the Element developed and oversaw the adoption of the Element by the State Planning Council. Background research and analysis on which the Element is based is contained in the two technical reports listed below.

Update Meetings

Other Resources and Helpful Links

Renewable Energy Siting Partnership (RESP)

The Division of Planning participated in the Renewable Energy Siting Partnership. The partnership was a team of professionals from the University of Rhode Island, DOP staff, OER staff, and the public. Numerous stakeholders reviewed and discussed renewable energy topics which included terrestrial wind energy systems, installation of solar resources at existing landfills and low-head hydro at existing dams around the State.

Department of Administration, Office of Energy Resources