Library from Rhode Island
Ratepayers are expected to pay an above-market price of $440 million for Deepwater’s energy over the next two decades, according to a 2015 filing with the state Public Utilities Commission. Critics say total tab will be more than $500 million, due to added costs, like laying the cable linking Block Island to the mainland. This cost sparked the filing of a federal lawsuit last year that attempts to undo the contract between the utility company National Grid and Deepwater Wind.
Dozens of submissions will need to be vetted in coming months as the three states look to sign long-term contracts for electricity from wind turbines, dams and solar projects. The states are seeking up to 600 megawatts of power.
The turbine, which is located at Portsmouth High School, was built in 2009 but has been idle since 2012 because of a faulty gearbox. The company that made the turbine and gearbox has since gone bankrupt.
Companies designing projects to bring clean electricity to southern New England say they’re grateful Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island have finally made a request for proposals to carry that power to the region. But meeting the region’s longer-term goal of expanding the use of renewable electricity from wind, solar and hydroelectricity will require more transmission capacity than the states requested, said Edward Krapels, the CEO of Anbaric Transmission, which is proposing one project in Maine and another Vermont.
When the wind turbine near the high school stopped spinning its blades due to a faulty gear box in 2012, not everyone saw the development as bad news. For people like Donna Olszewski, who lives about 750 feet from the turbine at 36 Education Lane, it meant no more headaches and sleep problems which she blamed on noise and shadow flicker generated by the machine.
Washington -- Aggressive energy efficiency efforts and new distributed generation capacity -- virtually all of it in the form of solar projects -- are combining to put a lid on growth in peak demand and electric use in New England, ISO New England said in its newly released 2015 Regional System Plan.
The two barges became separated and drifted apart from each other in Block Island Sound before personnel secured the barge. One barge containing two of the 56-foot tall yellow decks was seen battling high seas off the island’s southwesterly side, while the other barge, carting three deck platforms, was situated off the coastline near the North Lighthouse.
“Restructuring doesn’t save anybody any money,” said Bell, who had come up with a bottom line of 17.73 cents per kwh post-restructuring, versus the current 18.03 cent per kwh fuel charge. Bell’s analysis was met with shock. Some in the audience believed they had been “lied to” regarding the savings on electric bills that would come with connection to the wind farm and cable.
New England’s most populous states are looking to tap Canadian dams and rivers for more of their electricity, a change that officials say would help cut greenhouse-gas emissions and help keep some of the nation’s highest power prices in check.
The company building an offshore wind farm in the waters off Block Island is promising to try and eliminate the source of a droning noise that has been bothering people across Narragansett Bay.
Voters approved building the turbine with a $3 million bond issue in 2007. The windmill was built in 2009 but has been idle since 2012 due to a faulty gearbox supplied by a company that has since gone bankrupt. ...Addressing a question by council member David Gleason, Mr. Brusini said WED would not be willing to renegotiate the 15.5-cent rate because it wouldn’t be economically viable for the company, which is already picking up the town’s debt.
Construction of the Block Island Wind Farm is once again raising red flags and upsetting state officials. Last month, the Deepwater Wind project caused alarm after inspectors found equipment damage and a number of hazards that threatened worker safety. This month, attention shifted to the quality of construction — specifically welding procedures and construction practices by the builder, Weeks Marine of Cranford, N.J.
Fugate says contractors with experience working in offshore energy projects in the Gulf of Mexico, have found the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean to be a more challenging work environment.
RIMA’s objection to the Deepwater Wind project is the pricing mechanism that is in place and how that was established. The overall cost for electricity generated by Deepwater Wind is about four to five times that of natural gas and other renewable sources ...The excess, above-market cost to ratepayers will be about $497 million over 20 years (not including investment tax credits, the cost for the oversize cable, and other direct projects costs).
“The opposition participated at every opportunity that was available, but the public process was a charade,” Rosemarie Ives said. “Every aspect of the state dealing with this project has been corrupted.” Less than a half mile to the east of the Ives’ home sits Southeast Light, one of the most popular destinations on the island. Now, visitors to the historic brick lighthouse get a clear view of the wind farm under construction from the front lawn.
Despite some unexpected events, such as repairs to a foundation and a complaint that was filed in a Providence U.S. District Court, the Block Island Wind Farm project is moving ahead, according to Deepwater Wind's Chief Executive Officer.
Opponents to the offshore wind farm under construction near Block Island have filed a case in federal court seeking to overturn a critical agreement under which developer Deepwater Wind will sell power to utility National Grid.
Benjamin Riggs, the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association and others filed this complaint in Federal Court pertaining to the approval of an above-market power contract between Deepwater Wind and National grid. The plaintiffs initially pursued this matter before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”). However FERC chose not to act on it itself but rather to refer the matter to the courts. Consequently they ruled that “Our decision not to initiate an enforcement action means that Mr. Riggs may himself bring an enforcement action against the Rhode Island Commission in the appropriate court”. By law, that is federal court. The current action is limited to asking the federal government to assert its clear authority over the pricing mechanism for the Deepwater project. The complaint, a portion of which appears below, speaks for itself. The full complaint can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. In addition, the plaintiffs filed the attached Memorandum that explains the Motion for Summary Judgment.
The following interview was conducted, written and edited by Lars Trodson on Tuesday, Aug. 11. It was learned later that day that the one steel jacket foundation placed in the water so far, which was subsequently damaged when it was hit by a barge, was taken out of the water. The Block Island Times sent in a series of six questions to Deepwater Wind regarding the condition, repair and current location of the foundation, and received the following response:
Developing that electricity system locally has proven a challenge. It's hard enough to get buy-in to string power lines or pipelines through the densely populated, educated and politically savvy Northeast. Building a dam or putting up a wind farm stirs even deeper antipathy.