Library filed under General from Rhode Island
While some residents welcome an approved 427-footer turbine, others oppose plans for more wind energy. ...It's been the talk around town for the past month and, on Jan. 4, it'll get its well-deserved attention as the North Kingstown Planning Commission holds its first meeting of the new year on the subject: wind turbines.
It was the wind turbine proposal that really stirred up the town, similar to the controversy that arose last year in other Rhode Island towns when the green energy alternative was introduced. It seems a lot of people like the idea of green energy, but just not next door.
Perhaps more so than the debate over the sheer size of a proposed 427-foot wind turbine in Stamp Farm on South County Trail, and maybe even more so than the safety concerns of its placement in a residential neighborhood and/or the effects such a structure will have on local property values, it seems as if many of the local residents who have recently spoken out against this project have all had one central complaint.
Portsmouth's turbine broke again last week and this time it could be shut down for awhile. ...The mechanism is located in the turbine's nacelle, and while he said he is not clear on its purpose, "I am told that it is important, that it is broken and that we need to get a new one."
The Jamestown Town Council voted down a motion on Dec. 13 that would have directed Town Administrator Bruce Keiser to select and hire the contractors necessary to prepare the technical paperwork required for a turbine-interconnection study by National Grid. Keiser would have also had to appeal a height restriction handed down by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Governor Carcieri and other supporters of an expanded wind-energy proposal in Rhode Island Sound say it could spur the creation of an alternative-energy economy in the state, but fishermen worry that development of the project will come at the expense of their industry.
Deepwater Wind has applied to federal authorities to build the largest proposed offshore-wind farm in the United States, a 200-turbine project in Rhode Island Sound. The 1,000-megawatt project, called the Deepwater Wind Energy Center, replaces a 350-megawatt, 100-turbine proposal that was put forward by the Providence-based company two years ago.
Last week Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the "Smart from the Start" initiative to expedite the siting, leasing and construction of new offshore wind energy projects on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. New leases could be granted as soon as next year.
"CLF supports renewable energy in general, and especially supports offshore wind for Block Island," said CLF attorney Jerry Elmer. "But renewable energy is so important for our state that it must be done right - with fair rules, known in advance, that apply to all renewable energy developers equally.
The councilors discussed a group of options at their Nov. 15 meeting. The option that gained the most traction requires an upfront expenditure of $35,000 to pin down the actual costs of integrating a 1.65-megawatt turbine with the local grid.
More than 160 people from around the country registered for the two-day conference organized by the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. They included elected officials, state bureaucrats and executives from offshore-wind developers and manufacturers.
Now that Jamestown voters have passed a referendum for a wind turbine, the Town Council, which wanted the ballot question rejected, will re-visit their numerous options that have grown in number since February, when the councilors endorsed Taylor Point as the site for a municipal turbine.
The developers of a proposed wind turbine development off Route 1 have withdrawn their partnership agreement with the town ...Michael Carlino, project manager for Whalerock Renewable Energy LLC, said Friday that the outcome of last week's election has changed the course and economics of the $10.5 million project.
He spoke briefly on the phone with Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch and said he plans to have a sit-down with him to discuss many issues, including Kilmartin's plan to end the state's current Supreme Court appeal of the Block Island wind-farm approval. Kilmartin was the only one of five candidates running to become the state's chief law-enforcement officer to disagree with Lynch's position.
It has been trying for two years to go public, delayed by a market cool to initial public offerings in light of the turmoil in equity markets over the last few years. The company is also laden with red ink. Eight-year-old First Wind lost $61 million last year, continuing a string of losses over the years.
Conservation Law Foundation state director Tricia Jedele voiced concern that the approval was premature. Jedele was the only individual at Tuesday’s hearing to suggest the council withhold approval until comments from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had been addressed.
Applicant Luise Strauss's attorney submitted a letter to Middletown's Zoning Department Wednesday withdrawing the application for a Special Use Permit to construct a wind turbine at 485 Paradise Avenue. Receipt of the letter Wednesday was the first and only indication the town had received that the Strauss application would be withdrawn.
Mooney strongly denounced the process taken by the state, both in the selection of developer Deepwater and in creating the law that forced the Public Utilities Commission to reconsider the Power Purchase Agreement between Deepwater and National Grid. He called the state actions "illegal" and vowed to pursue a stand-alone cable saying he would "introduce legislation" at the state level.
A consultant hired by the cities and towns has tentatively selected land in and around the Tiverton Industrial Park, near Route 24 and the Fall River town line, as the best site for what's envisioned to be a 25-megawatt project that could have 8 to 10 wind turbines and cost between $50 million and $63 million to complete.
Fiery at times, Thursday's public hearing on plans to erect two wind turbines off Route 1 drew fierce opposition from residents, who questioned the project's impact on property values and the rural quality of life they moved to Charlestown to enjoy. Plans by Michael Carlino and his father-in-law Larry LeBlanc, of Whalerock Renewable Energy LLC, would put two, 1.8- megawatt turbines on the north side of Route 1.