Articles from Rhode Island
The Rhode Island Manufacturers Association has filed a brief with the state Supreme Court that opposes a power-purchase agreement signed between the state's largest electric utility and an offshore-wind power developer. The association submitted the amicus brief last week but has yet to learn whether it will be accepted.
Portsmouth's turbine broke again last week and this time it could be shut down for awhile. ...The mechanism is located in the turbine's nacelle, and while he said he is not clear on its purpose, "I am told that it is important, that it is broken and that we need to get a new one."
The Jamestown Town Council voted down a motion on Dec. 13 that would have directed Town Administrator Bruce Keiser to select and hire the contractors necessary to prepare the technical paperwork required for a turbine-interconnection study by National Grid. Keiser would have also had to appeal a height restriction handed down by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Governor Carcieri and other supporters of an expanded wind-energy proposal in Rhode Island Sound say it could spur the creation of an alternative-energy economy in the state, but fishermen worry that development of the project will come at the expense of their industry.
Deepwater Wind has applied to federal authorities to build the largest proposed offshore-wind farm in the United States, a 200-turbine project in Rhode Island Sound. The 1,000-megawatt project, called the Deepwater Wind Energy Center, replaces a 350-megawatt, 100-turbine proposal that was put forward by the Providence-based company two years ago.
Last week Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the "Smart from the Start" initiative to expedite the siting, leasing and construction of new offshore wind energy projects on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. New leases could be granted as soon as next year.
"CLF supports renewable energy in general, and especially supports offshore wind for Block Island," said CLF attorney Jerry Elmer. "But renewable energy is so important for our state that it must be done right - with fair rules, known in advance, that apply to all renewable energy developers equally.
Attorney General Patrick Lynch said Monday that he has filed a brief in state Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of a law that ultimately gave Deepwater Wind an exclusive contract to build a wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island.
The councilors discussed a group of options at their Nov. 15 meeting. The option that gained the most traction requires an upfront expenditure of $35,000 to pin down the actual costs of integrating a 1.65-megawatt turbine with the local grid.
More than 160 people from around the country registered for the two-day conference organized by the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. They included elected officials, state bureaucrats and executives from offshore-wind developers and manufacturers.
Now that Jamestown voters have passed a referendum for a wind turbine, the Town Council, which wanted the ballot question rejected, will re-visit their numerous options that have grown in number since February, when the councilors endorsed Taylor Point as the site for a municipal turbine.
"Everyone has gotten so caught up in the ‘green is good' idea that they don't stop to think about the economics and the physics and the evidence. We're financing this with debt, which put the U.S. economy in the tank, and all the empirical evidence is against this producing enough energy to get us off fossil fuels," said Michael Delia, who owns a home near the Southeast Lighthouse.
The developers of a proposed wind turbine development off Route 1 have withdrawn their partnership agreement with the town ...Michael Carlino, project manager for Whalerock Renewable Energy LLC, said Friday that the outcome of last week's election has changed the course and economics of the $10.5 million project.
He spoke briefly on the phone with Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch and said he plans to have a sit-down with him to discuss many issues, including Kilmartin's plan to end the state's current Supreme Court appeal of the Block Island wind-farm approval. Kilmartin was the only one of five candidates running to become the state's chief law-enforcement officer to disagree with Lynch's position.
The problem seems to be a relay switch which has been repeatedly switching off for reasons unknown, said Mr. Crosby who has overseen the town's wind turbine project. ...The situation is complicated by the bankruptcy earlier this year of AAER, the Canadian firm that supplied the wind turbine to Portsmouth and provided the warranty protection.
It has been trying for two years to go public, delayed by a market cool to initial public offerings in light of the turmoil in equity markets over the last few years. The company is also laden with red ink. Eight-year-old First Wind lost $61 million last year, continuing a string of losses over the years.
Conservation Law Foundation state director Tricia Jedele voiced concern that the approval was premature. Jedele was the only individual at Tuesday’s hearing to suggest the council withhold approval until comments from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had been addressed.
Applicant Luise Strauss's attorney submitted a letter to Middletown's Zoning Department Wednesday withdrawing the application for a Special Use Permit to construct a wind turbine at 485 Paradise Avenue. Receipt of the letter Wednesday was the first and only indication the town had received that the Strauss application would be withdrawn.
Residents pushing for the amendments to be approved have voiced support on the grounds of visual impact, flicker, noise, fear of declining property values, and appropriate use of turbines on residential lands, while some opponents have voiced concern out of support in general for alternative energy and others have echoed the concerns of the Wind Turbine Committee.
Deepwater has said time is of the essence to take advantage of federal tax credits that expire at the end of 2012. The company has paid $3.2 million to defray the cost of the SAMP. Another $2.8 million has come from the state; $700,000 came from the U.S. Department of Energy and $2 million from the federal stimulus. The plan's creators say the source of money had no impact on the results of the plan.