Clean Energy Internship Program

The clean energy report shows that employment across clean energy businesses increased by almost 500 jobs—or 3.2 percent— between the last quarters of 2020 and 2021. This comes after an unprecedented decline in clean energy jobs of over 2,500 jobs—or 15.5 percent— from 2019 to 2021 due to COVID-19. While clean energy employment is trending upwards, it has not yet bounced back to pre-pandemic levels during 2020-2021. The economic aftermath of COVID19 resulted in the loss of roughly four years of clean energy job growth, sending Rhode Island’s clean energy economy back to 2016 employment levels. As of the last quarter of 2021, there were 14,256 jobs, of which 7,910 are in energy efficiency, 591 in wind, and 1,445 in solar. 

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 Fall 2023 round is now in session. The Spring 2024 session is accepting applications from September 18, 2023, through Friday, December 15, 2023.


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.