Articles from Rhode Island

Price doesn't change in new wind farm contract

National Grid filed a new Power Purchase Agreement signed with Deepwater Wind late Wednesday that is not significantly different from the one the state Public Utilities Commission rejected in March. The opening price for electricity from a proposed eight-turbine wind farm off Block Island would remain 24.4 cents per kilowatt-hour, escalating 3.5 percent each year of the 20-year contract.
1 Jul 2010

Developers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts in regulatory race to build nation's first offshore wind farm

In a quirk of timing, two developers in neighboring states are racing to build the first offshore wind farm in the United States ...Cape Wind Associates in Massachusetts and Deepwater Wind in Rhode Island must both persuade public utilities regulators in their respective states to approve long-term contracts that would allow them to sell power to National Grid.
27 Jun 2010

Carcieri signs wind farm legislation

Governor Donald Carcieri signed new wind farm legislation into law Tuesday, keeping the proposed Block Island wind farm in play for another round before the Public Utilities Commission. The law calls upon the PUC to consider a renegotiated power contract between Deepwater Wind and National Grid.
21 Jun 2010

Law sets new standard for approval of wind farm

It took the state Public Utilities Commission five-and-a-half months to decide that the price of wind power in a proposed agreement between National Grid and Deepwater Wind was too high. Under a new law that took effect Tuesday, the commission will have just 45 days to rule on a revised contract being negotiated by the largest electric utility in Rhode Island and the state's preferred offshore wind developer.
16 Jun 2010

Deepwater deconstruction

But the way a bill was written for Deepwater Wind in the General Assembly lacked the kind of transparency and concern for oversight that the public expects. (The bill did get better, with the role of the Public Utilities Commission apparently being properly restored, among other improvements.) The idea that it should start with an expensive eight-turbine "demonstration project" never made that much sense to us.
14 Jun 2010

Another shot at a wind farm

The Block Island wind farm has new life. Both houses of the General Assembly passed a law this week that call for the Public Utilities Commission to revisit a modified power agreement between Deepwater Wind and National Grid.
14 Jun 2010

Carcieri set to sign wind farm legislation

Gov. Donald L. Carcieri said he plans to sign legislation passed by the General Assembly on Thursday that could speed the development of a proposed offshore wind farm. The House and Senate passed each others' versions of the legislation on Thursday ...The bill directs the R.I. Public Utilities Commission to revisit the contract between wind farm developer Deepwater Wind and National Grid.
11 Jun 2010

House passes Deepwater wind turbine legislation

Some legislators argued the Deepwater wind farm off Block Island is going to be a longterm financial drain on the state electric ratepayers; others insisted it will be an economic engine that will power Rhode Island into the future. After midnight, following a debate of more than three hours, the House finally voted 56-15 for a bill that is designed to set the wind project back on course by setting the standards for it to be reviewed by the state Public Utilities Commission a second time.
10 Jun 2010

Wind energy bill passed by R.I. Senate

On Monday, Sen. Susan Sosnowski and Rep. Arthur Handy, D-Cranston, unveiled a new bill that they said had been negotiated by policy advisors from both chambers and the governor's office. It requires PUC approval, but on a timetable some said was too fast to do an adequate review. There was a mixed response from Block Islanders. Union leaders supported the measure, while union members demonstrated outside.
9 Jun 2010

Block Deepwater's end-run around PUC

Under the guise of supporting renewable-energy projects, a pair of bills designed to remove the Public Utilities Commission from its traditional role of regulating the acquisition and distribution of electricity to citizens have been racing through the Rhode Island General Assembly. One has already passed and was signed by the governor within four weeks of its introduction.
9 Jun 2010

Latest wind-farm bill hits headwinds

Faced with growing opposition to its plans to permit an offshore wind farm without the approval of the state Public Utilities Commission, leaders in the Senate, the House and the governor's office responded Monday with new legislation that restores PUC review, albeit on an expedited basis.
8 Jun 2010

Groups fear SAMP moving too quickly

A process to zone the waters off the coast of Rhode Island is drawing fire from some environmental groups that complain the state is rushing the work to meet arbitrary deadlines. ...Jedele and John Torgan, director of advocacy at Save The Bay, said the state appeared in a race to finish the document before the fall ...Jedele said the deadline appeared to advance business interests of Deepwater Wind.
6 Jun 2010

Building a virtual wind farm

Hecklau says that the early land-based wind farms were "warmly received," by the public, but controversy has dogged each successive project, especially in the Northeast. Nowadays, there's "not an easy project anymore in the Northeast. Every project, some opposition." Projects in the Midwest, he says, receive much less opposition.
24 May 2010

Wind farm: AG Lynch wants to ‘kick the tires'

State Attorney General Patrick Lynch this week sent a letter to Governor Donald Carcieri suggesting that he go "all in" on his wind farm plans for Rhode Island. The letter says Carcieri should pursue both phases of the proposed Deepwater Wind project simultaneously ...However, in an interview with the Block Island Times, the state's leading law enforcement officer made clear that his letter was intended more as a "call out" to the governor to be more honest with the state ratepayers.
24 May 2010
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