General and Rhode Island
WARREN - John Rosenthal has his eyes on the heavy current pulling hard underneath the Warren River Bridge. The president of Meredith Management — the company planning to develop the 14-acre former American Tourister property into hundreds of condominiums — wants to harness the river's tidal energy and use it to supply electricity to the proposed residential complex.
The state's Office of Energy Resources is already on board with Mr. Rosenthal's idea. In late August, the agency awarded a $20,000 grant to Meredith Management to fund a feasibility study. On Thursday, Sept. 14, the same day Mr. Rosenthal formally submitted the plan for the redeveloped Tourister property, the company president said work had begun on the tidal energy study, and that he was optimistic about its potential.
"We hope it will be fiscally feasible," he said. "This is better than wind energy ... water is denser than air, and it is invisible to the public."
Portsmouth residents now have an online resource to help them decide whether to support installing wind turbines on school property.
The town Economic Development Committee's Sustainable Energy Subcommittee this week unveiled a Web site, www.portsmouthrienergy.com,
aimed at informing residents about wind energy and on a proposal to build a turbine at the high school and/or middle school to save money on electricity costs. The site includes information on sustainable energy, funding sources and environmental impacts.
As four days of hearings came to a close last Friday, state Public Utilities Commission Chairman Elia Germani posed the "$640 million question" to energy analyst Richard Hahn: are the terms and pricing of the power agreement between Deepwater Wind and National Grid "commercially reasonable?" ...Hahn said the 24.4 cents per kilowatt-hour price, with annual 3.5 percent escalations, was high compared to other renewable projects he considered.
A New Hampshire company wants to introduce a new era of wind technology to the United States and it wants to showcase that technology here in West Warwick.
Representatives from Portsmouth Power Corporation made a presentation to the town council and town residents last night to introduce the principles of the project.
The company would like to build three module power towers on Arctic Hill. The company is proposing putting one tower near the tennis courts and two towers at the rear of the baseball field behind the high school. The company would donate the tower closest to the school to the town and would own the other two.
In a lawsuit filed in Washington County Superior Court on Nov. 26, Whalerock Renewable Energy, LLC is seeking a judge's order to void a section of the town's zoning ordinances that allows the Planning Commission to approve or reject special use permit applications for large wind energy systems.
Whalerock plans to erect two, 262-foot wind turbine on 81 acres between King's Factory Road and East Quail Run. ...The turbine project has been the subject of several legal actions over the past year, creating a complicated web of claims from multiple parties. While an ultimate legal decision may take some time and includes options such as trials and appeals, Gorham is happy the process is underway.
The long-running quest of Larry LeBlanc and his son-in-law, Michael Carlino, to build the twin 262-foot turbines received a boost in R.I. Superior Court when Associate Justice Kristin Rodgers denied appeals by the Town Council and abutters of the property to halt the turbine project, which has been before town officials and boards since 2010.
EBEC was started with about $400,000 of seed money from the state Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and its wind farm project would have made millions through net metering. Net metering allows private energy companies to sell excess energy to National Grid at retail prices.
"Why should we, if we could, make a profit on the backs of every single ratepayer in the whole state of Rhode Island."
...council member Kenneth A. Marshall, who sits on the town's wind energy committee, believes it's time for Bristol to either move forward with a plan or direct its efforts elsewhere.
The chairman of the committee exploring a wind turbine for the town is warning that the project is facing "paralysis by analysis" and he is calling on Barrington's "silent majority" to "break the deadlock and move forward on this first-of-many renewable energy solutions." ...Critics have called for actual wind measurements to determine if the breezes will be strong enough to make a turbine at Brickyard Pond economical. The committee has, instead, relied on historical wind speed data collected from other locations, data that have been extrapolated for the Barrington site.
Wind energy on Jamestown could take several forms, according to Jamestown's Wind Energy Committee. However, in order to determine the best option, the town is being asked to allocate upwards of $50,000 in funding for a wind energy feasibility study.
The Wind Energy Committee voted last week to ask the Town Council for $50,000 for a wind energy feasibility study.
The committee also voted to recommend that the town begin the process with an invitation for suppliers to submit proposals for the study.
After an unusually barbed exchange between councilors, they voted unanimously May 14 to authorize Town Manager Steven Hartford to negotiate an agreement with the firm but to bring the agreement back to the Council before signing it.
Plans call for Wind Energy Development to invest $10 million in the project. The company has promised to sell electricity, generated by the turbines, to the town.
Renewable-energy groups from throughout Rhode Island will meet here Saturday to discuss ways communities can install wind turbines that would be used to offset the cost of electricity.
The meeting, at Roger Williams University, was organized by Bristol Wind Power, a local group that formed in support of a nonbinding referendum on wind energy that won overwhelming approval from voters last month.
The referendum capped a two-year study of wind power in Bristol that has yet to produce a concrete proposal to erect a turbine in town. The Town Council decided to hold the vote to gauge the sentiments of townspeople before moving forward with any plan.
The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources recently gave thumbs up to the island's pursuit of a wind energy generation program. The unofficial nod followed town council approval for $15,000 to be spent on a wind turbine feasibility study. ...Pichs also noted that turbine manufacturers had backorders which took anywhere from 16 months to three years to deliver. "They are catering to the larger projects now. Money that was available for Portsmouth is no longer available," he warned.
Pichs said that a company like General Electric might be interested, "but they have so much demand from wind farms that they're not interested in small projects."
Town councilors last week held an election and chose by paper ballot seven members for two year terms on the town's new wind energy committee. The seven were chosen from among 16 applicants and one nominated member.
The council invited and urged applicants not named to the committee to attend and play active roles in the committee work.
Selected for the committee were; William "Bucky" Brennan and Robert Bowen, who independently and simultaneously urged the council to pursue study of wind energy, and Clayton Carlisle, William W. Smith III, Don Wineberg, Abigail Anthony and Michael Larkin.
Public Works Director Steven Goslee and Town Engineer Michael Gray will serve as ex-officio members.
Those bringing the appeal argue that the modified renewable energy law, passed by the General Assembly this summer in reaction to the Public Utilities Commission's unanimous rejection of the first wind farm contract in March, was unconstitutional.
The order comes after new state Attorney General Peter Kilmartin recently pulled out of the appeal, which his predecessor, Patrick Lynch, had initiated with CLF and the other two appellants. Kilmartin, a longtime member of the General Assembly, supports the wind farm, proposed for within three miles of Block Island, and agrees it will be an economic plus for the state.
The five-member group appointed by the governor in June has been giving the seven bids a "very thorough look" according to member David Farmer, who added that outside experts are being consulted. Fellow group member Saul Kaplan said he expected the group to finish its work by the end of the year.
The wind farm proposal could have implications for Block Island - not only because it suggests locations close to the island - but because it also "strongly encourages" the winner of the bid to tie the system into Block Island.
The three-member PUC issued its written order August 16. Appeals had to be filed within seven days.
All three appellants argue that the contract does not fulfill four basic requirements called for in legislation while the attorney general and CLF also point to underlying legal difficulties, such as res judicata i.e. that an issue not be decided twice, and separation of powers issues regarding the law itself.