General or Maryland
READSBORO — In an informal survey, voters overwhelmingly supported the expansion of the Searsburg wind facility into Readsboro.
Because of stronger winds and a sea floor with fewer obstacles to construction, the most favorable places for wind turbines in Rhode Island coastal waters appear to be far offshore, where the turbines will be all but invisible from the mainland.
That preliminary conclusion by state researchers could be extremely good news for Deepwater Wind, the company selected by the Carcieri administration to construct a $1.5-billion wind farm in Rhode Island's coastal waters.
Avoiding manmade blemishes on ocean views is important because other potential wind farms, primarily the Cape Wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound, have been criticized in large part because people didn't want to see them from shore.
Municipalities trying to determine appropriate sites for turbines must deal with issues related to noise, light flicker and setbacks from nearby properties, among others.
The General Assembly asked the Division of Planning to draw up siting guidelines in 2007, a year after Portsmouth Abbey installed the first wind turbine in the state. Since then, four other large turbines have been put up - another in Portsmouth, one in Middletown and two in Warwick.
A proposal to build an eight-turbine wind farm in waters off Block Island is in jeopardy after the state Public Utilities Commission rejected a long-term contract for Rhode Island's largest electric utility to buy power from what was envisioned as the first project of its kind in the United States.
The three-member commission voted unanimously against the power-purchase agreement between developer Deepwater Wind and National Grid during a public meeting Tuesday morning in its Warwick offices.
Chairman Elia Germani said a ruling on the motions will not be made until the final day of proceedings, currently scheduled for Aug. 11. That means the three-member commission will decide whether to dismiss the case on the same day it decides whether to approve the long-term contract.
Rhode Island's top energy official said yesterday that proposed federal rules for leasing offshore ocean space to wind-farm operators will not conflict with the state's own plan to select a developer to build a wind project off the coast.
Andrew Dzykewicz, chief energy adviser to the governor, said the rules are "unlikely to interfere" with the state's plans. But he said the state's Office of Energy Resources plans to file its own comments about the rules to make sure there won't be any potential conflict.
The land-based study also aims to take a comprehensive look at resources and weigh comments from stakeholders. It comes after proposals for wind turbines in Charlestown, North Kingstown and other towns have stirred objections, bringing hundreds of residents to meetings with concerns about the effects of the large structures on their communities.
In an order issued Monday, the court directed the Conservation Law Foundation, Toray Plastics (America) and Polytop Corp. to file briefs defending their legal standing no later than March 10. The three are appealing a decision by the R.I. Public Utilities Commission to approve a contract between National Grid and wind farm developer Deepwater Wind.
The state Public Utilities Commission, which approved a controversial power-purchase agreement between Deepwater Wind and National Grid last month, has until Sept. 23 to submit the full written record of the proceedings to the court.
Thomas Kogut, spokesman for the state Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, said the records are being compiled.
So last year, when National Grid, Rhode Island's dominant utility, signed a deal to buy electricity from an offshore wind farm proposed near Block Island, Toray was taken aback by details of the arrangement. Even though it buys no power from National Grid, under the deal, Toray would still have to pay some of the cost of the electricity generated by Deepwater Wind's project.
Although the decision removes a major obstacle in the path of the wind farm - which had been delayed during the court case - it does not guarantee that the project will reach fruition. Deepwater will use the contract to help secure financing for the $205-million wind farm.
Gov. Donald L. Carcieri's chief energy adviser this morning said a New York company's interest in building a large wind energy project off Rhode Island's coast is "extremely premature." At this time, the proposal is not seen as a viable option for alternative energy development in the state. ...The Allco Renewable Energy Group Ltd. - an investment bank that specializes in energy projects - has submitted a preliminary request to erect 235 to 338 wind turbines in state waters just off Block Island, Little Compton and Watch Hill, the Providence Journal reported this morning.
The race to build a wind farm in Prince Edward County is a long one. So long that it's difficult for a company to know where to begin.
"It would be fool-headed to race ahead and get all your permits in place and not have a contract to sell power," said Samit Sharma of Gaia Power Inc.
The labyrinth of agencies that must be consulted for the requisite approvals, however, makes a proponent anxious to get underway.
RADAR might help to reduce the number of bats being killed by wind turbines, according to new research.
Bats are repelled by electro-magnetic radiation emitted from radar installations, scientists at Aberdeen University have found. They believe fitting radar systems to wind turbines might prevent the bats from flying too close to their rotors.
The team studied the behaviour of bats at various distances from ten radar installations across Scotland last summer.
They found that bats did not forage in areas where high levels of radiation were present.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Developers and officials hope that three wind farm projects in the works for South Dakota will go forward despite military officials’ concerns that turbines might interfere with radar.
An application by Merck Sharp and Dohme Ltd to build the turbines was refused by members at Blyth Valley Council's development control panel.
Members argued the plan, which proposed two 130m high turbines to be placed in Windmill Industrial Estate, Shotton Lane, Cramlington, would be misread on airport radars as aircraft.
Concerns were also raised about the effect on Brizlee Wood air defence radar where, if granted permission, the turbines would have been placed 36km from.
The designers say they may have overcome two drawbacks of traditional turbines. The turbine's triple helix form and vertical axis are said to make it almost silent, and it is believed to perform better in urban areas, where wind direction can vary by the minute. While there are other vertical-axis turbines, this is believed to be the first with three blades.
"The construction changes the landscape in that area," said Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho, of Discovery Bay. "My (goal) is that those who travel that road are aware of the change, aware of the construction, and that they are slowing down and driving safely."
Plans for wind turbines in Pride Park are to be downgraded because the electricity generators would interfere with phone and radio communication.
A year ago, Derby City Council announced a proposal to install up to 10 of the turbines at the business park.
The council had planned to offer the power as a green alternative to the various businesses on Pride Park.
But now it says this will not currently be possible because the blades of the 400ft-high wind turbines would disrupt Pride Park's telecommunication network by interfering with the transmission of radio and microwaves.
Although turbine blades are not of metallic construction, they can reflect and diffract radio waves.
A MASSIVE wind farm would cripple radar for Tornado jet fighters, defence chiefs say.
The Ministry of Defence have lodged an objection to plans to build 13 giant turbines at Gathercauld in Fife.
They say the 278ft turbines would block the line of sight from the control tower at nearby RAF Leuchars.
And they claim the blades would slice through radar waves, disrupting communications and the plotting of aircraft.
The objections are backed by environment groups and Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell.