Employer

Rhode Island Clean Energy Internship Program

Please join us for a Rhode Island clean energy networking event for interns and professionals! RSVP Here

Browning the Green Space and Emerald Cities Collaborative are providing professional and career development opportunities for interns through the the Office of Energy Resources Clean Energy Internship Program. On July 30th, we will have the opportunity to bring together practitioners in the Rhode Island clean energy ecosystem while building valuable networking experiences and connections for the interns participating in this summer's cohort.

Agenda:

  • 5:00 PM-5:30 PM: Arrival and Check in
  • 5:30 PM: Welcome
  • Priscilla De La Cruz, Director of Sustainability for the City of Providence, Rhode Island
    5:45-7:00: Networking & Refreshments

Light refreshements will be provided.

Who should attend?: RI clean energy practitioners and RI college students who are interested in a clean energy career or internship.

Location Details: CIC Providence, Innovator's Lounge.

For students: Interested in getting some feedback and advice on how to improve your resume or LinkedIn profile? Stop by a resource table at the event and talk 1:1 with a professional on how to make the most of these valuable resources!

RSVP Here


As detailed in the 2023 Rhode Island Clean Energy Industry Report, the state’s clean energy sector employed 400 jobs between the last quarters of 2021 and 2022. The largest increase of employment from the end of 2021 to the end of 2022 was within the renewable and efficient heating and cooling and renewable energy technology sectors. The renewable and efficient heating and cooling technology sector added just over 100 jobs, an increase of 2.7 percent from the previous year, while renewable energy added just under 70 jobs, an increase of 3.2 percent. Clean energy employment in Rhode Island totaled 14,511 jobs, of which 7,942 are in energy efficiency, 607 in wind, and 1,479 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 Summer 2024 round is now in session. The Fall 2024 session is accepting applications from May 22, 2024, through August 16, 2024.

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Who's Eligible?

To participate in the program, all of the following requirements must be met:

• Be an eligible clean energy company. For the purposes of this program, program staff defines a clean energy company as “an employer engaged in whole or in part in goods and services, or advanced and applied technologies that significantly reduce or eliminate the use of energy from non-renewable sources, including, but not limited to: energy efficiency; demand response; energy conservation and those technologies powered in whole or in part by the sun, wind, water, biomass, alcohol, wood, fuel cells,” and “any renewable, non-depletable or recyclable fuel.” Program staff in their sole discretion makes the determination of whether an applicant is considered a clean energy employer.

• Be registered to do business in Rhode Island.

• Provide adequate proof that your organization is able to pay your intern(s) and all associated costs associated with employment.

• Successfully demonstrate that your organization has a formal office in Rhode Island.

• Cannot be an academic or government entity.

How do I Apply?

Previously approved employers' online applications will be saved, and their account will be marked back to 'awaiting approval'. You will be able to use your existing login credentials and update any information previously provided. Please note that you will still have to submit new position(s) if marked as approved, and an updated W9 document should be uploaded (if applicable). 

If you are a new employer, please follow the instructions below:

Step 1: Register for a new account here. Once created, log in and fill in all of the necessary information fields, and upload a financial capability and W9 document in PDF format. The financial capability document should provide adequete proof that your organization is able to pay your intern(s) and all other associated costs with employment, and describe the payroll system utilized. Please note that it is a requirement for interns to be paid on a W2 status in order for you to participate and be reimbursed through the program.

Step 2: Once your company has been approved for the program, you will be able to post up to two positions that will become visible on the Internship Board. Please note that if you are looking to fill two positions with the same job duties/title, you will still need to post two seperate internship positions.

Step 3: During the session's enrollment window, you will also be able to review all eligible student applicants, including their resumes, transcripts, cover letters, and preferred field of work by clicking on the "View Students" tab. Host Companies are able to contact any eligible applicant to set up an in-person or online interview. Interviews are not required, but are encouraged.

Step 4: Once you have selected your intern(s), you can choose to hire them on their portal and their application will not be able to be viewed by other clean energy companies. Program staff will respond to let you know whether or not the applicant has been approved for the position.

Step 4: After program staff have approved an intern(s), have them sign an offer letter. The offer letter must, at a minimum, state their name, expected start and end dates, how many hours per week they are expected to work, and wage/hour. You must submit these signed offer letters to program staff no later than the session’s deadline in order to have your funding reserved. 

Step 5: Countersign the offer letter and return to program staff as soon as possible. This serves as your official agreement with the program for the session, and we will not provide reimbursement without it.

Step 6: Program staff will send a reimbursement package with instructions about 3-4 weeks before the reimbursement deadline.

In order to be reimbursed for the session, you will need:

  • Countersigned offer letter.
  • Completed reimbursement sheet.
  • Backup documentation in the form of paycheck stubs and/or a payroll summary showing YTD wages and applicable taxes paid for each intern. 
  • A completed mandatory survey.

FAQ

Internship Program Highlights

Program staff will reserve funding for interns to participate in the Clean Energy Internship program. We will not place additional interns once the sessions submission deadline has passed. 

  1. All interns must be paid on a W-2 employee status for the Host Employer to be eligible for reimbursement, and you must notify program staff and submit a new W-9 if your address changes. Proof of wages/taxes paid must be provided with your reimbursement package submission in the form of paycheck stubs and/or a payroll summary. Host Companies may pay their intern(s) more than the subsidy rate ($15/hr.), however, REF will only reimburse at this subsidy rate up to the full award amount. Host Companies may not pay an intern less than $15 per hour.
  2. Program staff aim to make this program as inclusive and diverse as possible. The reservation of funding for students and employers located in Rhode Island is intended to further support diverse populations who wish to participate in the clean technology sector. There are many eligible candidates listed in the student database from a variety of different backgrounds.

Interns are not permitted to enter into non-compete agreements with employers. Any employer found executing a non-compete agreement with a subsidized intern will result in the inability to receive reimbursement through the Clean Energy Internship Program. A confidentiality agreement is, however, permissible.

Important Internship Program Dates

Summer 2024

· January 22, 2024 – Student and Host Company applications open 
· April 19, 2024 – Student and Host company applications due 
· May 20, 2024 – Program staff intern and Host Company selections complete 
· May 27, 2024 – Deadline for signed offer letter submissions to program staff 
· June 5, 2024 – Summer 2024 session begins  
· September 16, 2024 - Summer 2024 session ends 
· September 30, 2024 – Deadline for reimbursement packages 

Fall 2024 


· May 22, 2024 – Student and Host Company applications open 
· August 16, 2024 – Student and Host company applications due 
· September 6, 2024 – Program staff intern and Host Company selections complete 
· September 20, 2024 – Deadline for signed offer letter submissions to program staff 
· September 23, 2024 – Fall 2024 session begins 
· December 23, 2024 - Fall 2024 session ends  
· January 10, 2025 – Deadline for reimbursement packages 

Note: The Fall internship dates from September 18, 2024 – December 20, 2024 consists of a 13-week time period. When accepting a position, you and the intern(s) agree upon a start date for the 12-week consecutive period during this timeframe. 

Spring 2025 


· September 13, 2024 – Student and Host Company applications open  
· December 13, 2024 – Student and Host Company applications due 
· January 3, 2025 – Program staff Intern and Host Company selections complete 
· January 17, 2025 – Deadline for signed offer letter submissions to program staff 
· January 27, 2025 – Spring 2025 session begins  
· April 25, 2025 - Spring 2025 session ends  
· May 9, 2025 – Deadline for reimbursement packages 
 
 Note: The Spring internship dates from January 27, 2025 – April 25, 2025 consists of a 14-week time period. When accepting a position, you and the intern(s) agree upon a start date for at least a 12-week consecutive period during this timeframe.  

Internship Program Participation Steps

1. Register to participate by creating an account and completing the online application. You will also need to upload required documentation including the financial capability and W9 document. 

2. Once you have submitted your application and have been approved, you will be able to post an internship job description on the Internship Board. You will also be able to review all eligible student applicants, including their resumes, transcripts, cover letters, and preferred field of work. Host Companies are able to contact any eligible applicant to set up an in-person or online interview. Companies are required to interview 3 candidates for 1 position, or 5 candidates if filling 2 positions.

3. Once you have selected an intern, have the student sign an offer letter for the upcoming session. The offer letter should at a minimum state the student’s name, expected date range to be worked, and wage/hour. You must submit your signed offer letters no later than the session deadline September 20, 2024. Program staff will not place any additional interns past this date. Only after your signed offer letter has been received by staff will we be able to officially reserve your funding for the session.

4. Sign and return your countersigned offer letter .

5. Submit your Reimbursement Package. You must submit your fully completed reimbursement packages before the session deadline of January 10, 2025. We will not provide any reimbursements for packages submitted past this date. Program staff reserve the right to deny reimbursement funding for a Host Company’s session if a complete reimbursement package is not received by the session’s reimbursement package submission deadline. We will provide you with reimbursement materials and instructions. Please fill out these materials and send back to program staff.

In order to be reimbursed, we will need:

  • A countersigned award letter.
  • A completed reimbursement sheet.
  • Backup documentation in the form of paycheck stubs and/or a payroll summary showing YTD wages and applicable taxes paid for each intern.
  • A completed mandatory survey (link found in reimbursement instructions).

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions Document and Host Company Program Process Document for any additional questions.

Program Background

The summer of 2019 marked the launch of the Rhode Island Clean Energy Summer Internship Program. A collaboration between the RI Office of Energy Resources (OER) and the Renewable Energy Fund (REF), this program matches college student applicants or recent graduates with clean energy host companies around Rhode Island for a twelve-week, paid internship. In keeping with the vested interest in expanding the State’s clean energy workforce, this internship program was created with the goal of getting students interested in the clean energy industry, with the intent of sparking a lifelong interest in a clean energy career.

Due to its success, the program was expanded in 2021 to include spring, summer and fall sessions. Since its inception in the summer of 2019, the Rhode Island Clean Energy Internship Program has placed over 60 students and recent graduates at clean energy companies across Rhode Island, with many of those interns going on to receive full or part-time job opportunities at their host companies.

Program Results

Key Goals:

  • Enable clean energy employers to mentor students and provide internship opportuniries across a broad spectrum of student backgrounds.
  • Support the need for greater diversity in the workforce. 
  • Designed to provide tools for students and employers to connect and combat real world energy problems in the environment through reimbursed intern stipends.


Key Metrics and Results:

Since its launch in 2019, the program has placed nearly 105 interns at 27 different companies, with some receiving full or part-time jobs at their host companies as a result of their internship. For an overview of metrics for the program, please refer to the RI Clean Energy Internship Program Infographic

Program Contact

Contact Information: Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (RI OER)

Email: abigail.hasenfus@energy.ri.gov