Library from Rhode Island
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.
First, it was the weather. Rough seas forced the Providence company to push back until last Sunday the installation of the first steel foundation for the five-turbine wind farm off Block Island. Now, Deepwater is dealing with a construction mishap. Earlier this week, one of the barges being used in the project hit the latticework “jacket” foundation that had been placed in the water and dented one of its four hollow, tubular legs.
The most obvious sign that Deepwater Wind is about to start installing the nation’s first offshore wind farm appeared in the Atlantic Ocean waters near Block Island on Saturday. It's hard to miss, coming in the form of the 300-foot-long Weeks 533, the largest water-borne revolving crane on the East Coast.
“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,” commissioners wrote.
Town voters at an all-day referendum on Thursday approved issuing $18 million in bonds to pay for three large wind turbines that would be installed on private land in rural Coventry.
The governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island teamed up Wednesday to begin looking for ways to increase the region's reliance on renewable energy sources while also expanding natural gas capacity.
Sources confirmed Friday that Cape Wind Associates LLC has ended payments and an existing lease agreement option with Quonset Business Park in North Kingstown.
Shields filed a complaint in Superior Court last July that alleged that a subcommittee of the state Coastal Resources Management Council showed bias toward Deepwater during hearings on the Providence-based company’s proposal last February.
Deepwater Wind now expects its five-turbine offshore wind farm planned near Block Island to produce more power than originally projected, resulting in potentially lower prices for consumers, company CEO Jeffrey Grybowski told the state Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday.