Library filed under General from Rhode Island
In a lawsuit filed in Washington County Superior Court on Nov. 26, Whalerock Renewable Energy, LLC is seeking a judge's order to void a section of the town's zoning ordinances that allows the Planning Commission to approve or reject special use permit applications for large wind energy systems.
The Patrick administration placed the project's cost at $100 million and project proponents touted its potential to serve the offshore wind industry. In an interview Tuesday, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan acknowledged Massachusetts and Rhode Island are competing for the Cape Wind jobs. Massachusetts was not looking to sweeten its infrastructure effort with loans or grants.
The East Bay Energy Consortium (EBEC) looks to rebound from a year that saw its proposed wind farm stall along with wind energy development across Rhode Island. Much of the consortium's future depends on Election Day outcomes.
The convoluted struggle over Whalerock Renewable Energy LLC's bid to construct wind turbines has been extended into November, this time by a Zoning Board dispute involving the notification of adjacent property owners.
Riggs said he is "looking now at taking the next step" in opposing the Block Island Wind Farm. "At least in court, we'll get an answer, but I estimate it could take up to nine months," Riggs said. "Then the loser can always appeal to the 1st Circuit."
The company is in the final stages of completing permits for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council. The Army Corps permits are needed for any project that involves construction in navigable waters. The state permit is for leasing the submerged state lands.
The group that was instrumental in bringing a municipal wind turbine to Portsmouth has been directed to undertake a study to show the errors in the procedure that led to what has been called "a $2 million mistake."
The Town Council voted on Aug. 20 to kill the project, which had become a source of controversy among residents. The vote was 4-1, with Councilor Bob Bowen maintaining the panel should defer a final decision until town officials had collected all the data about the project. At the time, the Town Council did not take any action about the bond.
A Newport resident filed a complaint with a federal agency last week charging that electricity generated at a wind farm off Block Island's southern coast would be too expensive, a burden that would unfairly fall on mainland ratepayers.
After years of discussion and planning, the Town Council voted Monday 4-1 to abandon the proposed Taylor Point wind turbine. Councilman Bob Bowen voted against the measure, stating that more information was needed before the project was dismissed.
Since the cause of the failure is unknown, this may help pinpoint exactly what is wrong with the turbine before committing to costly repairs. Mr. Klimm has also been consulting with two people who own and operate the same AAER 1.5 MW turbine, one of which has had the same gearbox problem.
If Jamestown goes forward with the wind turbine project Murphy fears it could have the same fate as nearby Portsmouth which now is left with a half a million dollar bill on their wind mill project.
The proposed wind turbine at Taylor Point continued to be an issue of contention for Jamestown residents who attended Monday's Town Council meeting. More than 10 individuals, including proponents, opponents and consultants, gave their opinions on the proposed project.
NARRAGANSETT - The U. S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has released an assessment of the environmental impacts of wind farms in federal waters off Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and could give notice as early as next month that it is auctioning off leases.
"My concern is that with all this about 38 Studios' [sudden bankruptcy], Deepwater has said that there is no tax money at risk [in its case], which is true," he said. "A lot of people are concerned about this; ...we're concerned about the cost of electricity and the impact it will have on businesses."
The council is expected to vote on the proposed agreement with WED Westerly LLC, an affiliate of Wind Energy Development of North Kingstown, during a special meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. The company has said that it would erect two 2-megawatt, 420-foot turbines, capable of meeting the electricity needs of the town's municipal buildings, excluding schools.
The Deepwater project does raise broader policy questions about the state's role in promoting renewable energy development, questions that go beyond any single project. The General Assembly explicitly made it state policy to push clean power with the 2004 passage of a renewable energy portfolio standard, and doubled-down in 2009 and 2010 by passing a long-term contracting bill that benefited Deepwater.
In the days leading up to Memorial Day weekend, Block Island was being transformed from a quiet, sparsely populated sanctuary of about 750 year-round residents to a summer playground that swells with up to 25,000 people daily, as the ferries from Point Judith double their daily runs and the New London high-speed ferry begins its season.
After an unusually barbed exchange between councilors, they voted unanimously May 14 to authorize Town Manager Steven Hartford to negotiate an agreement with the firm but to bring the agreement back to the Council before signing it. Plans call for Wind Energy Development to invest $10 million in the project. The company has promised to sell electricity, generated by the turbines, to the town.
By unanimous vote, the town council sent a message Monday to the General Assembly that it is not happy with legislation creating a nine-member East Bay Energy Consortium (EBEC) that would build a wind farm on vacant land on and near the town's Industrial Park and along Route 24 toward Fall River.