Articles from Rhode Island

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

Carcieri, others put pressure on PUC to OK wind-farm pact

Governor Carcieri and the state's legislative leaders put more pressure Monday on the state's Public Utilities Commission to approve a power-purchase agreement to pave the way for a $205-million wind farm to serve Block Island ...The commission remains committed to announcing a decision on Aug. 11, just within the deadline mandated by the General Assembly.
3 Aug 2010

Wind farm costs under fire

Attorney Michael McElroy, representing two of Rhode Island's largest manufacturers, persistently questioned Deepwater CEO William Moore to show that the cost and projected profit were understated for the company's proposed wind farm three miles off Block Island.
2 Aug 2010

Wind farm testimony picks up

On Tuesday, Shigeru Osada, senior vice president of engineering and maintenance of Toray Plastics, which employs 600 people in Rhode Island where it manufactures thin, high technology film for industrial applications, testified that over the 20 years of the Block Island wind farm project, Toray would have to pay an additional $7.3 million in fees to National Grid.
2 Aug 2010

PUC to wait until Aug. 11 to rule on TransCanada's motion to dismiss wind power case

The state Public Utilities Commission will not rule on the latest motion to dismiss a case for a power-purchase agreement between offshore wind developer Deepwater Wind and National Grid until the final day of proceedings, Aug. 11. The commission held a hearing Tuesday morning on the motion from TransCanada Power, a Canadian energy company that says it can provide Rhode Island with renewable power at a far cheaper price than Deepwater.
28 Jul 2010

PUC questions farm price; PUC testimony focuses on higher electricity costs for R.I. industry

Outside the hearing room, Lynch said that for someone of Mazze's stature to testify "so eloquently how bad this project is for Rhode Island confirms that my position [opposing the wind farm contract] is the appropriate one for Rhode Island citizens." Lynch also referred to a cable to deliver electricity to Block Island, which is part of the proposed eight-turbine project.
27 Jul 2010

Block Island divided over wind farm

"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.
23 Jul 2010
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