On January 14, 2016, in the case of Depasquale v. Cwiek, the Rhode Island Supreme Court affirmed the Superior Court’s ruling that Wind Energy Development’s North Kingstown wind turbine is exempt from taxation under Rhode Island law. We claimed this exemption based on Rhode Island statutes that declare energy production facilities exempt manufacturing equipment excepting only those owned by utilities or non regulated power producers that began generating after 1997.
WED’s turbine does not meet either exception to the manufacturing equipment exemption for power production facilities. When the Town refused to grant the exemption, WED appealed to the Superior Court which granted summary judgment in our favor. The Supreme Court then refused the Town’s appeals that the exemption did not apply to a wholesale sale of electricity or that the claimed exemption is inconsistent with another statute that grants municipalities the right to exempt renewable energy. As a result of this decision, most renewable energy generating facilities are now exempt from taxation in Rhode Island.