Articles filed under Impact on People from Rhode Island
Essentially, anyone with a farm will be entitled to install wind turbines, with virtually no setback, and this will pre-empt any local zoning. So beautiful vistas in places like Portsmouth and Jamestown will be up for grabs, and there will be no consideration of the effect on the historic beauty of the area or impact on people’s real estate use or resale values.
There are more commercial-scale wind turbines on the Rhode Island horizon than ever before and offshore wind farms that could generate a substantial portion of the state's energy remain on track. But in many respects, the outlook for land-based wind power in the Ocean State has darkened recently.
"Our first thought was that no sane spray pilot would get near one, so we immediately called Farmer's Spraying Service from the meeting and the owner told us not only would he not treat a field with one of the towers, but he also would not care to do the application, if the tower was in an adjacent field.
The drive for renewable energy in Rhode Island is colliding with neighborhood values in North Kingstown, where a battle is raging over a 427-foot wind turbine proposed for farmland along Route 2. Opponents of the turbine object to the size, location and possible safety hazards of the structure. "These are power plants."
"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."
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.
"Block Island is most at-risk with this project," said Michael Hickey. ...Nobody has more to lose than Block Island if this project does not work out as planned." He and others say the price of wind power has been inflated to cover any risk Deepwater is exposed to. "I also object to the fact that the ratepayers of Rhode Island are being asked to subsidize this experiment," said John Hopf.
An expert says that a wind turbine at the town-owned forest behind Beech Grove Cemetery would generate as much electricity or more than a similar turbine in Portsmouth, R.I. that has netted that town $281,219 in cash after all costs in just one year. After hearing on March 20 that an investment in a 1.65 megawatt turbine may produce as good as or better results than Portsmouth's The Board of Selectmen unanimously agreed to place a question of whether the town will fund a $14,500 feasibility study on the Town Meeting.
Block Island residents got a first chance Tuesday to offer input to state decision makers about the wind farm proposed for within three miles of the island's shores. The Public Utilities Commission held a hearing at Town Hall as part of its consideration of the Power Purchase Agreement reached between National Grid and Deepwater Wind. The commission will render a decision on the agreement by March 30.
Block Islanders on Tuesday spoke out for the first time at a state hearing on a proposal to build a small offshore wind farm that would provide them with cleaner and potentially cheaper electricity. Many of the 50 people who attended the meeting voiced support for the proposal ...But others questioned whether the plan would really lead to cost savings in the long term. And they raised concerns that installing an array of machines rising hundreds of feet above sea level would dramatically alter the pristine ocean views prized by residents and visitors alike.
Now that the Town Council has made a wind power turbine on the transfer station property possible, is it advisable? A number of serious concerns were raised during the rezoning struggle that need to be answered. As First Warden Kim Gaffett kept saying, it was premature to introduce an extended critique of windmills into the rezoning proceedings, but the time to take up the issues has arrived.
A majority of Narragansett residents support wind turbines in their community, according to a survey released last week by the R.I. Department of Environmental Management and town of Narragansett. ...Seventy-one percent supported wind turbines if they could not hear them from their house. However, support dropped to 38 percent if they could be heard from their house.
Block Island voters and homeowners support wind power, including both on- and offshore wind farm installations, according to the results of a Roger Williams University survey. ...63.3 percent of the voters and 56.4 percent of the homeowners said they would support a wind installation - land-based or offshore - that was visible from their homes, with the proviso that the wind farm be far away enough to be "impossible to hear."
I helped research the structural failure and noise aspects of wind turbine generators for the Health & Safety (H&S) subcommittee of the CREB (Committee for Renewable Energy for Barrington). CREB says it bases its recommendations only on objective data. If so, why did it selectively ignore research produced by its own H&S subcommittee?
A contingent of opposition soaked up the first 90 minutes of a public workshop on the proposed wind turbine project in Barrington on Tuesday night. One by one, residents, some of whom were members of the group Citizens Wind Watch, approached the microphone at the front of the Barrington High School auditorium and reeled through questions and concerns about the project while some offered reasons the town council should not support building a wind turbine on Legion Way. ... Despite all the comments, the majority of council members said the workshop did little to sway their thoughts on the proposed project.
The School Committee last night decided to put off a vote on whether to remove the high school from contention as a location for a proposed turbine. ...School Committee members agreed to take up the turbine matter at its Oct. 16 meeting. That group is expected to recommend an alternative site at the end of Legion Way, which would essentially make the school committee's rejection of the high school site unnecessary. ...And because the device would be as close as 190 feet from a school building, the committee has been under pressure to withdraw its approval of the high school site.
Unanswered questions and legitimate objections - that's why Barrington Town Council member Jamie Schwartz believes the proposed wind turbine project would not get his vote of approval ... at least not right now. Last week Mr. Schwartz went public with his position regarding the wind turbine. He said if he had to vote on the project tomorrow, he would vote no. "The disagreements over the economic model, the wind adequacy, the environmental impact, vendor qualifications, property values, construction impacts, aesthetics, etc., suggest that community buy-in is insufficient to approve the project," Mr. Schwartz wrote in a letter last week.
Late last month Lincoln Avenue resident Kathleen Shafer filed a complaint against the town's zoning board of review over a decision it made involving the proposed wind turbine. The complaint's roots can be traced to the town's initial site selection for the project - Barrington High School. (Legion Way is also being considered as a potential site.) Ms. Shafer lives at 210 Lincoln Ave., and her property abuts the school campus. She began questioning some aspects of the project and eventually requested a zoning certificate with respect to the zoning status of the high school, specifically as it relates to a wind turbine. The building official said the high school was exempt from the town's zoning ordinances.
Forty pages of health and safety information surrounding the proposed wind turbine project in town may never have been created had it not been for some anxious residents. Ron Pitt, chairman for the health and safety subcommittee that researched and wrote the report, said interested and concerned residents, including members of the group Citizens Wind Watch, should be credited for pushing forward the process of learning more about wind turbines and the issues that surround them. ...Mr. Russo said the recent health and safety report spelled a certain end to the likelihood the turbine would be constructed at the high school.
Critics of a plan to build a wind turbine at the high school are adding zoning concerns to their list of objections to the project, which town officials say they want to relocated to a piece of town-owned land on Brickyard Pond at the end of Legion Way. But the Town Council president counters that those concerns are groundless because the town is not bound by its own zoning bylaw. ...The town has until the end of the year to close a deal on the turbine if it wants to take advantage of a $2.1-million interest-free loan being offered by the IRS.