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The governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island teamed up Wednesday to begin looking for ways to increase the region's reliance on renewable energy sources while also expanding natural gas capacity.
Sources confirmed Friday that Cape Wind Associates LLC has ended payments and an existing lease agreement option with Quonset Business Park in North Kingstown.
According to an announcement Wednesday from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, the feasibility study’s findings “do not support pursuing large-scale wind energy at Newport at this time for a combination of reasons, including technological, historical and community concerns.”
The Town Council's unanimous vote on Nov. 6 to allow the broken high-school turbine to be taken down and replaced, with a $1.4 million payment from developer Mark DePasquale and additional state funds, is a turnaround for the embattled project that Gov. Lincoln Chafee has called a "symbol of embarrassment."
In an unanimous vote, the town entered into a contract (attached to this page) with Wind Energy Development (WED) of North Kingstown that will allow the town to pay off the remaining debt that’s left on the turbine, which voters approved with a $3 million bond issue in 2007. The turbine was built in 2009 but has been idle since 2012 due to a faulty gearbox that was supplied by a company that has since gone bankrupt.
Facing a Nov. 1 deadline set by the company seeking to replace the wind turbine at the high school, the Portsmouth Town Council on Oct. 20 instructed Town Administrator John C. Klimm to open talks with the school committee to bring them on board. Mr. Klimm said on Monday night that he was planning to meet with members of the school committee on Tuesday afternoon.
The project’s lead federal permitting agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, granted its approval Sept. 5. With the Corps’ permit, the Block Island Wind Farm has now been completely reviewed, and approved, by nine state and federal agencies.
One of Rhode Island's largest energy users has dropped plans for a wind farm and is instead moving toward solar energy. Naval Station Newport says its wind project — 12 sites on the western shore of Aquidneck Island had been scouted — has been “placed in a strategic pause” because of the fiscal climate, regulatory and environmental issues, and community concerns.
The wind turbine at Portsmouth High School that has sat idle since its gearbox broke in May 2012 could be spinning again within three to six months, ending what Governor Chafee said Monday has been one of a few “symbols of embarrassment” in the state that bother him.
Final agreements are still due from the R.I. Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, the Narragansett Tribe, the Wampanoag Aquinnah Tribe on Martha’s Vineyard and from the National Park Service, related to the Block Island Southeast Light, said Elliott.
A couple who previously lived next to the 413-foot wind turbine in the North Kingstown Green subdivision off Ten Rod Road before moving to North Carolina are asking a judge to seize $223,025 worth of assets from the turbine’s owner, as part of an ongoing civil lawsuit.
Allowing things to be broken with the expectation of someday fixing them is horrible policy. Things that are as complicated as the Atlantic Ocean do not fix easily. Let us decide on an ocean policy concerning the expanded utility of our oceans that states clearly, “Above all else, do no harm.”
Clean energy is facing some serious headwinds in town. Tiverton’s only wind turbine is face-down in a hay field, and a proposal to set up a wind farm has stalled. “Not a thing is happening right now,” said Garry Plunkett, the town’s expert on wind power. “It is pretty dead.”
Under Deepwater's plan, which still requires permits from the state Coastal Resources Management Council and other agencies, the cable would run under Scarborough beach to a parking lot and then under state roads to a switchyard that would be built next to Route 1. The entire route of the transmission line would be on land owned by either the DOT or the DEM.
The council voted in May to affirm a subcommittee decision that concluded that the five plaintiffs — Jon Ives, Rosemarie Ives, Katy Ives, Michael Beauregard and John Lyons — as well as three other objectors had failed to demonstrate “particularized” harm from the five-turbine wind farm proposed by Providence-based Deepwater Wind in waters about three miles southeast of Block Island.
Like many densely populated areas, Rhode Island has problems with siting wind turbines. Whether or not the problems are real, turbines bring out complaints. The latest protest is from a group of residents living near the Safe Way Auto Center wind turbine, on Gooding Avenue. The 110-foot-high, 50-kilowatt turbine is modest, but big enough and perhaps loud enough to bother residents living 1,000 or so feet from the machine.
The litany of complaints seems to be indicative of the pushback against wind power proposals across the region. ...There have been similar stories about strong opposition to land-based turbines in upstate New York and Vermont. Locally, the failed Portsmouth wind turbine has raised concerns about the financial risk and the proposed Deepwater Wind project off Rhode Island's coast has brought out many opponents who question the cost of the power, the few permanent jobs and the impact on ocean views.
Apex Clean Energy, an energy generating company based in Charlottesville, Va., showed the Town Council preliminary plans for a wind farm of six to eight turbines that would produce about 24 megawatts of energy on land owned by the North Tiverton and Stonebridge Fire Districts.
If the latest proposals aren't acceptable, the fate of the turbine may lead to the the scrap yard. "Sell it as is and pay off the debt with tax revenue. The town would likely have "egg on our face" for losing money and tarnishing wind-energy development, Crosby said. The project, however, was economically sound, he said, as the now-bankrupt manufacturer, AAER Wind Energy, deserves most of the blame.
As a result of the public outcry against the turbine, North Kingstown's council approved a moratorium on turbine development in December 2011, while another proposed turbine was in the planning stages. Dolan said the moratorium, which has been renewed on several occasions, will give the state Office of Energy Resources, which governs wind power, the opportunity to establish a set of regulations.