Articles from Rhode Island
A consultant hired by the cities and towns has tentatively selected land in and around the Tiverton Industrial Park, near Route 24 and the Fall River town line, as the best site for what's envisioned to be a 25-megawatt project that could have 8 to 10 wind turbines and cost between $50 million and $63 million to complete.
Fiery at times, Thursday's public hearing on plans to erect two wind turbines off Route 1 drew fierce opposition from residents, who questioned the project's impact on property values and the rural quality of life they moved to Charlestown to enjoy. Plans by Michael Carlino and his father-in-law Larry LeBlanc, of Whalerock Renewable Energy LLC, would put two, 1.8- megawatt turbines on the north side of Route 1.
"I lived with 50 decibels constantly," Nettleton said. "I can tell you that with 50 decibels at night, you can have your windows closed and your TV on, and you're going to be adjusting the volume on the TV ... Sound travels at night." "You're gonna hear this thing and it's going to become part of your life," he added. "It became such a part of my life, living with 50 decibels ... that I got the point where I just didn't want to come home at night."
The votes stand in contrast to a decision by the town's Planning Commission to postpone an advisory opinion until after the public hearing. Members of the land use board publicly questioned the turbines' impact on birds and bats and the visual effects of shadow flicker on Route 1 motorists, among other details.
Public confusion in recent days over the exact nature of Monday night's hearing prompted Town Council President Christopher Semonelli to open the discussion by emphasizing that the hearing was only on those proposed amendments and would not affect a current wind turbine construction project that's separately moving through the town's approval process.
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.
D.E. Shaw & Co. fired 10 percent of its work force, or 150 people, to deal with a 46 percent plunge in the value of its assets, Bloomberg News and other outlets reported Tuesday. The fund's holdings fell to $21 billion as of Sept. 1, Bloomberg said. D.E. Shaw is also conducting a strategic review of its investments.
Rich told the task group that the appeals of the Public Utility Commission's recent decision to approve Deepwater's Purchase Price Agreement with National Grid have not yet derailed its timetable to have the farm built by 2012. However, he cautioned that could change since he does not know how long the appeals will last.
The unexpected ruling, which cannot be appealed, was announced by Town Administrator Bruce Keiser at an unscheduled Town Council meeting on Sept. 14. The councilors had set aside the evening for a Ft. Getty workshop, which was delayed until they finished their discussions on a response to the FAA ruling.
The state will pay MacFadyen $245 an hour for his work. Amy Kempe, the governor's spokeswoman, said the state had no choice but to hire outside counsel. The attorney general's office would normally represent the state in a case like this, but it was one of the parties that filed the appeal.
With its wind turbine supplier bankrupt, Portsmouth is looking for a new company to provide the service it had believed was covered under the equipment's original warranty.
The move comes as Deepwater steps up efforts to build an eight-turbine wind farm in state waters off Block Island that would serve as a test project before the company’s 100-turbine proposal in federal waters farther off the Rhode Island coast.
The Island Energy Plan Committee was unable to produce a quorum at its Wednesday meeting. Nevertheless, members present informally discussed the development of the plan's first draft, which they hope to have completed by November.
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.
"There would be few if any places in Middletown that would not be seen as scenic, historic or natural from a viewpoint," said Tarpgaard. "These broad terms could apply anywhere in Middletown and effectually it could become law that no wind turbines can be erected in Middletown."
"But I am confident that our court will not be intimidated by the defective provision of a defective law, and will allow the appeals process to follow its normal, deliberative course. Rhode Island ratepayers and businesses, who stand to pay for this arrogance in the form of overpriced electricity for the next 20 years, deserve nothing less."
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.
Planning Board members who toured the property Friday also answered some residents' and neighbors' questions about the 294-foot wind turbine proposal's approval process and timeline, but amongst themselves declined to deliberate or discuss the issue again until the board's next meeting in September.
"We know the area [the location most viable for wind turbines in the nearby federal waters], but any reference to federal statutes and waters is forbidden," Fugate said. ...Said Tikoian, "Then why did we spend so much money to study federal waters and not include them? We want to ensure accountability and that we paid $8 million on what we said we were going to do."
The two Republicans running to take the place of their term-limited, fellow GOP member are opposed to the recent agreement between National Grid and Deepwater, while the Democratic and the independent candidates are in favor - though the latter with reservations.