Articles from Rhode Island

R.I. Supreme Court can't set date for hearing on wind farm

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.
8 Sep 2010

Tentative dates set for wind farm Supreme Court appeal

"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."
1 Sep 2010

Wind farm challenged in R.I. Supreme Court

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.
30 Aug 2010

Dismay surfaces over coastal map project

"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."
28 Aug 2010

3 appeals filed over Deepwater

All three appeals request the court to overturn the state Public Utilities Commission's 2-to-1 vote approving a long-term contract between developer Deepwater Wind and utility National Grid. The deadline for challenging the decision was Monday, seven days after the PUC issued written approval of the controversial agreement.
24 Aug 2010

Wind farm decision entangled in legal issues

In the months leading up to this week's PUC decision, Block Island residents have debated the merits of the proposed wind farm, focusing both on finances and aesthetics. Residents have weighed the pros and cons of eight wind turbines within three miles of Block Island.
16 Aug 2010

Consultant criticizes contract for Deepwater Wind project

"The project will result in higher costs of electricity to commercial and industrial businesses and will serve as a negative factor in retaining and attracting businesses," Mazze said in his prepared testimony. "To businesses, there are no economic benefits to this project. Rhode Island could realize greater economic benefit by investing in energy efficiency which could support lower-cost renewable energy at a reasonable price."
5 Aug 2010

Deepwater contract criticized

McCullough said he found the prices in the contract are significantly higher than prices for similar projects either under way or recently completed in Europe. "The cost figures give the appearance of being reverse-engineered from a required rate of return rather than derived from basic engineering estimates. The rate of return seems high with any reasonable level of leverage, and due diligence by the purchaser was lacking.
4 Aug 2010

Commissioners question National Grid's position on B.I. wind farm contract

Tuesday was the fourth day of hearings on Deepwater Wind's proposal to build six to eight wind turbines three miles off of Block Island. At the hearing, Germani and PUC member Paul Roberti questioned why National Grid had abandoned its role as advocate for lower utility prices. National Grid lawyer Ronald Gerwatowski answered that at no point in lengthy legal proceedings had the utility stated a position on the wind project's wider economic impact.
3 Aug 2010
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