Library from Rhode Island
When the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled that our legislature had required consideration of only the “benefits” and not the costs of the Block Island project, it wrote: “this Court recognizes the parade of irrational possibilities that could incur from this legislative direction.” We are now facing those irrational possibilities to the economic detriment of our citizens. That $535 million is a lot of money.
The council voted in May to affirm a subcommittee decision that concluded that the five plaintiffs — Jon Ives, Rosemarie Ives, Katy Ives, Michael Beauregard and John Lyons — as well as three other objectors had failed to demonstrate “particularized” harm from the five-turbine wind farm proposed by Providence-based Deepwater Wind in waters about three miles southeast of Block Island.
Deepwater Wind announced on Tuesday, Sept. 24, that it plans to install its electric transmission cable at Scarborough State Beach, located in Narragansett, R.I. Deepwater had originally planned to install the cable at Narragansett Town Beach, but withdrew those plans in August due to opposition from residents and the Narragansett Town Council.
The proposal to use Scarborough Beach follows Deepwater's announcement on Aug. 5 that it was dropping a plan to make landfall at the town beach after residents had banded together in opposition, raising concerns that cable construction could damage local tourism. The company said it would look for a more appropriate site.
Like many densely populated areas, Rhode Island has problems with siting wind turbines. Whether or not the problems are real, turbines bring out complaints. The latest protest is from a group of residents living near the Safe Way Auto Center wind turbine, on Gooding Avenue. The 110-foot-high, 50-kilowatt turbine is modest, but big enough and perhaps loud enough to bother residents living 1,000 or so feet from the machine.
The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the Deepwater Wind project. Chamber President Laurie White criticized the opponents of this overly expensive and ill-advised offshore wind turbine proposal. Her chamber's position is incomprehensible, because the project will do nothing for any of its members, excluding Deepwater Wind and National Grid, except increase their electricity rates.
"The noise from the turbine keeps us awake at night," Mr. Alves said. "We can't concentrate, we can't sleep. It's constant, and we're just looking for relief." ..."we were told verbatim that it wouldn't be louder than an air conditioner. Yet, I run my air conditioner at night and (the wind turbine) drowns it out."
The litany of complaints seems to be indicative of the pushback against wind power proposals across the region. ...There have been similar stories about strong opposition to land-based turbines in upstate New York and Vermont. Locally, the failed Portsmouth wind turbine has raised concerns about the financial risk and the proposed Deepwater Wind project off Rhode Island's coast has brought out many opponents who question the cost of the power, the few permanent jobs and the impact on ocean views.
Apex Clean Energy, an energy generating company based in Charlottesville, Va., showed the Town Council preliminary plans for a wind farm of six to eight turbines that would produce about 24 megawatts of energy on land owned by the North Tiverton and Stonebridge Fire Districts.
If the latest proposals aren't acceptable, the fate of the turbine may lead to the the scrap yard. "Sell it as is and pay off the debt with tax revenue. The town would likely have "egg on our face" for losing money and tarnishing wind-energy development, Crosby said. The project, however, was economically sound, he said, as the now-bankrupt manufacturer, AAER Wind Energy, deserves most of the blame.
Deepwater Wind has withdrawn its application with the Town of Narragansett to run its electric transmission cable through the town and build a new switchyard in Narragansett. Deepwater officials made the surprise announcement of the withdrawal today.
The Providence company emerged from the nation's first competitive sale of offshore renewable energy leases on Wednesday as the provisional winner, with bids of $3.7 million for the north section of the area, which is believed to be more suitable for development, and $94,000 for the south section.
I do not think that the Narragansett Town Council will permit Deepwater Wind to funnel electricity from its Block Island wind farm through Narragansett. ...With a new town council in place, President James Callaghan stated publicly: "When you think about it, this is not the best for the town when it goes through our most precious resource."
The PAC plans to respond to a decision to be made by the Narragansett Town Council about the cable landfall there, said treasurer Myron Waldman. Deepwater is offering the town $2.25 million for work that would include a submarine transmission cable to make landfall at Narragansett Town Beach and follow an onshore route to a switchyard.
As a result of the public outcry against the turbine, North Kingstown's council approved a moratorium on turbine development in December 2011, while another proposed turbine was in the planning stages. Dolan said the moratorium, which has been renewed on several occasions, will give the state Office of Energy Resources, which governs wind power, the opportunity to establish a set of regulations.
"The OSAMP [Ocean Special Area Management Plan] Subcommittee's [a CRMC subcommittee] vote to deny Intervenor status to the Plaintiffs in this contested case was a violation of the APA [Administrative Procedures Act], and beyond its legal authority, because ... Plaintiffs met the standard for intervention, and at the time of the vote CRMC was acting on incomplete and defective applications, and pursuant to a defective Public Notice."
The announcement followed a vote by the Narragansett Town Council to suspend talks with Deepwater for a month so that its members could have time to learn more about the company's plan to install five wind turbines in waters about three miles southeast of Block Island.
In particular dispute was the location of the cable lines from the town beach to the transfer station. The cable lines were first proposed above ground on extended poles. That permit was then amended to include buried lines in May 2013. But in a projected slide, Grybowski showed a detailed chronology of the location of the cables and said that the overhead lines were shown on the town's website as of Aug. 27, 2012.
The chambers of the town hall were filled with anxious residents waiting for answers regarding the offshore wind turbines during a work session Wednesday with the Narragansett Town Council and Deepwater Wind.
It's time to start thinking about option number 3, which is take down the town turbine or move it somewhere else with better setbacks from residential homes, water tank, highway and school field. Towns in Massachusetts have found hat the newer turbines are just as loud as the old ones despite what wind advocates tell you.