Library from Rhode Island
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to Deepwater Wind Block Island LLC (DWBI) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to construction of the Block Island Wind Farm. The authorization is effective from Oct. 31, 2014, through Oct. 30, 2015.
The project’s lead federal permitting agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, granted its approval Sept. 5. With the Corps’ permit, the Block Island Wind Farm has now been completely reviewed, and approved, by nine state and federal agencies.
One of Rhode Island's largest energy users has dropped plans for a wind farm and is instead moving toward solar energy. Naval Station Newport says its wind project — 12 sites on the western shore of Aquidneck Island had been scouted — has been “placed in a strategic pause” because of the fiscal climate, regulatory and environmental issues, and community concerns.
According to Shield’s complaint, the subcommittee violated its own regulations whenChair Anne Livingston and council member Donald Gomez repeatedly interrupted Shields’ testimony in opposition to the project, claiming that his discussion of the financial impacts were not relevant or within their jurisdiction.
The wind turbine at Portsmouth High School that has sat idle since its gearbox broke in May 2012 could be spinning again within three to six months, ending what Governor Chafee said Monday has been one of a few “symbols of embarrassment” in the state that bother him.
Building more electricity transmission into New England isn't about an "energy crisis." It's about economics, jobs, corporate profit, failure to make the small fixes that add up, failure to do detailed analysis, failure to resist stampede crisis mentality, and lots of other things.
The price of wholesale electricity in New England fell 14 percent in May, continuing the two-month downward slide from the record high prices from the first quarter, according to regional grid administrator ISO New England.
“The states and NESCOE are deliberately working out the details of this plan in secret, consistent with the view of one of NESCOE’s staffers that the plan should be ‘formulated behind closed doors’ because the ‘court of public opinion can be fickle and recalcitrant,’ ” Courchesne wrote, quoting an email from a NESCOE staff member to Executive Director Heather Hunt.
The six New England governors, working with the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCO) and regional grid operators, have launched a process under which Northern Pass partners may be able to acquire substantial ratepayer funding and eminent domain powers for the controversial plan to bring hydroelectricity from Quebec into New England.
Final agreements are still due from the R.I. Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, the Narragansett Tribe, the Wampanoag Aquinnah Tribe on Martha’s Vineyard and from the National Park Service, related to the Block Island Southeast Light, said Elliott.
It’s not just the town that has a stake in the windmill. The idle turbine is a black eye for Rhode Island’s wind-power industry, which has stalled in recent years, and for state government, which has worked hard to develop local sources of renewable energy.
“I think it would be really disastrous for us to take it down for a number of reasons,” Town Planner Gary Crosbysaid. “Our taxpayers would have to continue to pay the loan off, plus it wouldn’t be good for the wind industry as a whole to have a failed project like this.” However, he said, if the town gets the turbine running again, the operation won’t be the money-maker that it originally set out to be.
Deepwater Wind has reached an agreement with a coalition of environmental groups to minimize disturbances to endangered whales when it builds a proposed wind farm of up to 200 turbines in federal waters in Rhode Island Sound.
Four agencies — two state and two federal — will have the final say on whether the Deepwater Wind project moves into the construction phase.
A couple who previously lived next to the 413-foot wind turbine in the North Kingstown Green subdivision off Ten Rod Road before moving to North Carolina are asking a judge to seize $223,025 worth of assets from the turbine’s owner, as part of an ongoing civil lawsuit.
Municipal Court Judge Jane Howlett ruled the town did not prove its case against Mr. Coelho because Bristol Police Officer Sean Gonsalves did not take the noise readings in the proper location. The town ordinance requires that “the measurement shall be made at the property line; Gonsalves testifiedhe recorded the noise measurement from a second-story deck on the neighbor’s home.
Deepwater is responding to a 2013 request for proposal by LIPA for 280 megawatts of renewable energy. The state-controlled entity is seeking options after applying for a federal lease for its own wind project proposal with Consolidated Edison Inc. and the New York Power Authority off the coast of Long Island.
National Grid has submitted a proposal to the R.I. Division of Public Utilities and Carriers to construct the transmission system for the Deepwater Wind Block Island Wind Farm, instead of purchasing the completed system from Deepwater Wind as in previous plans. National Grid has also proposed paying Deepwater Wind $9.5 million for assets already invested in developing the transmission system.
In 2009, The Providence Journal wrote about the race to build the first offshore wind farm in the United States, with projects off Block Island and Cape Cod at the front of the pack. Five years later, the race continues.
The opposition is prepared to assert that wind farms are visual blights and environmental disturbances. But Deepwater’s adversaries believe that the high cost of this particular type of green energy is their strongest argument. A stack of handouts by the door to the Narragansett Town Council chambers raised the alarm. They proclaimed: “Wind Power Invasion Coming Soon,” and warned of a “predatory development,” and “a risky venture,” doomed to fail, while guaranteeing “huge profits” to Deepwater Wind.