Clean Energy Internship Program

As detailed in the 2023 Rhode Island Clean Energy Industry Report, clean energy businesses in Rhode Island increased by just over 250 jobs—or 1.8 percent—between the last quarters of 2021 and 2022. By comparison, clean energy employment increased by 450 jobs from the end of 2020 to the end of 2021. It is clear that employment in this industry is bouncing back from COVID-19 declines, with a total of 14,511 total clean energy jobs in the state in the last quarter of 2022, but it has yet to reach the employment levels seen before the pandemic. Slowly, Rhode Island clean energy jobs are climbing back to 2017 levels. Further, the total number of full-time equivalent (FTE) clean energy workers increased from the end of 2021 to the end of 2022. 11,931 clean energy workers dedicated all of their labor hours to support clean energy goods and services as of the last quarter of 2022. This represents an increase of 3.6 percent from the 11,515 FTE clean energy workers in last year’s report.2 The peak of FTE clean energy workers was reached in the last quarter of 2019, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 13,226 total workers.

The RI Clean Energy Internship Program is a paid 12-week internship program managed by the Office of Energy Resources and RI Commerce. It is designed to help provide internship opportunities in clean energy careers, ranging across marketing, engineering, research, solar, direct construction, energy efficiency and more! Students will be able to professionally develop under the mentorship of an industry partner to combat real world problems in energy and the environment. This workforce development initiative hosts 3 program rounds each year, in summer, fall, and spring. This is not a recruitment opportunity to work at OER, but rather, OER manages this internship portal where students and companies create accounts, upload application documents, and schedule interviews. OER reimburses the host company for the cost of hosting students as interns. 

The Spring 2024 round is now in session. The Summer 2024 session is accepting applications from January 22nd, 2024, through Friday, April 19, 2024.


What is the Clean Energy Internship Program?

The Rhode Island Clean Energy Internship Program is co-managed by the Renewable Energy Fund (REF) and the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER). It is a workforce development initiative which focuses on enhancing the talent pipeline for Rhode Island employers engaged in the clean energy industry. The Rhode Island Clean Energy Internship Program facilitates the placement of students and recent graduates who are considering career opportunities in clean energy through paid internships across the state. Consistent with the program staff's roles as catalysts in growing the talent needed by the clean energy industry, the Internship Program is designed to provide students and employers with the tools to connect, and eligible employers will be reimbursed for intern stipends.

What are the Objectives of the Internship Program?

The objectives of the Clean Energy Internship Program are to:

  • Provide the clean energy community with a talented pool of young professionals.
  • Enable students to gain significant career opportunities in a challenging economic environment.
  • Enable clean energy employers to mentor students and provide internship opportunities across a broad spectrum of student backgrounds.
  • Support the need for greater diversity in our clean energy workforce.
  • Provide a peer network of students interested in working in clean energy.

How Does the Program Work?

  • Students looking for an internship in the clean energy industry will be required to create a student account that includes filling in mandatory fields, and attaching a resume, current unofficial transcript and one-page cover letter.
  • Students will identify their academic background and the industry subsector in which they would prefer to intern.
  • Students can also access the Internships Board, where internships available are posted and can reach out to companies directly. 
  • For approved companies, eligible intern applications are able to be viewed and can select candidates with the qualifications that are most suited to their needs.
  • Internships are full or part-time during the session, typically over a 12-week period.
  • Employers will provide a meaningful internship opportunity and mentorship opportunities for each intern.
  • Upon completion of the internship, eligible employers will request a reimbursement from program staff for the stipend paid to the intern.
  • Funding is reserved for clean energy employers to host interns on a first-come first-served basis until funding has been exhausted or the submission deadline is met.

Please refer to the Intern or Employer section for more detail.