Articles from Rhode Island
The towering machines stand a few miles from shore, in a precise line across the seafloor, as rigid in the ocean breeze as sailors reporting for duty.
The wind turbine at Portsmouth High School stands idle no longer. Four years after its gearbox broke down and its blades stopped spinning, the turbine has been replaced with a new and better model that has gone into operation without any problems so far.
America’s very first offshore wind turbine was erected last week off the coast of Rhode Island.
In the 24 hours leading up to Wednesday's big House budget debate, Speaker Nicholas Mattiello promised to remove a provision that would have benefited a politically-connected wind-energy developer at the potential expense of rate payers; a top aide to Governor Raimondo said negotiations continued on multiple other fronts; and Republicans primed for battle.
The Rhode Island Republican Party has called for a provision in the House budget proposal that could benefit a politically connected wind power developer to be removed.
The North Kingstown company that wants to build a towering wind turbine on Old Smithfield Road has filed suit in Superior Court against the Town Council, saying officials unlawfully imposed a moratorium on such structures after its application was already in play.
The budget bill headed for a House vote this week could reverse a decision made by state regulators and force Rhode Island electric ratepayers to pay extra to help a big campaign donor connect his wind projects to the power grid. Critics say that language tucked in the spending plan that surfaced after midnight last Wednesday was inserted as a favor to a single company — North Kingstown-based Wind Energy Development.
The last of three wind turbines recently purchased by the Town of West Warwick was installed Friday morning in rural Coventry. The towers, which cost $6 million each, are expected to save between $25 million to $40 million in utility costs over the next 20 years, Town Manager Frederick Presley said.
Saying that the town’s current laws do not adequately address the threat posed by the development of wind energy, the North Smithfield Town Council unanimously passed an emergency ordinance that places a moratorium on the creation of turbines Monday night.
On April 5, National Grid notified the tribe that construction crews had inadvertently dug up cultural artifacts while making excavations for the cable. Michael De Luca, an attorney for the tribe, claimed that the disturbances happened before that day and that the artifacts involved included vessels and tools.
In recent weeks, drilling the 4- to 8-foot deep trench in the seafloor has been slowed by poor weather and a stubborn substratum of granite off Scarborough Beach. The process requires dive teams and offshore boats. The trench digging frustrates fishermen because, unlike the immovable wind farm, the mobile trench boats require a 200-yard floating buffer.
The Planning Board gave its blessing to the proposal at an April 7 meeting, unanimously voting to recommend that the Zoning Board issue the permit. That’s when abutters were first made aware of the plan.
Deepwater Wind is also free riding on Rhode Island’s ratepayers, who will end up paying vastly more than market rate for their wind power. Grybowski’s real accomplishment here is not the building of the wind farm, but rather that he got Rhode Islanders to pay so much for its output.
NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — This is going to take a long time.
Backers of gas generation countered that renewables are benefiting from government-backed subsidies and long-term contracts that threaten to reintroduce government-mandated integrated resource planning. ...state policies are giving renewables undue advantage and undermining conventional generators’ investments in the market.
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.