Articles from Rhode Island
HENDERSON — The onetime owners of most of Galloo Island have reacquired the 1,900-acre Lake Ontario property with the intent of preserving it as farmland.
National Grid announced on Tuesday, Nov. 30, that they would remove their equipment and cease operations on the cable reburying project until early spring 2022 when they hope to have more favorable weather and sea conditions.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management this week approved construction and operation of the South Fork Wind Farm, a 132-megawatt project proposed in a stretch of Rhode Island Sound between Block Island and Martha’s Vineyard. ...Certification that the wind farm is consistent with state coastal policies also came despite concerns raised by Save The Bay and others about the council’s permitting process for the wind farm, which would be built in an area called Cox Ledge in Rhode Island Sound that is home to a rich diversity of fish, including species of tuna and Atlantic cod.
ISO New England’s draft plan aims to strike a middle ground. While the grid operator’s working proposal eliminates the automatic price floor for subsidized resources, a similar calculation should still “be applied in certain situations,” ISO New England explained in a presentation to stakeholders in September. “In June, when we launched the effort to remove the MOPR from the capacity market, we made clear that we will do so in a way that doesn’t jeopardize either power system reliability or competitive pricing in the capacity market,” Matt Kakley, senior communications specialist at ISO New England, said in an email.
At this time, National Grid is planning to conduct its cable splice starting on Saturday, November 6. This means the Block Island Power Company will be utilizing its diesel generators for the duration of the splicing operation and for a few days afterwards while the splice is tested.
The agency said negative impacts to commercial and recreational fishing would be “major” and found there would be “minor to moderate” beneficial impacts in terms of jobs and investment in the local economy. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on the project, released on BOEM’s website Monday, Aug. 16, examines the potential environmental impacts of the proposal to build up to 15 wind turbines and an offshore substation in federal waters about 35 miles off the coast of Montauk. BOEM says in the FEIS that it prefers an alternative proposal to protect habitat by carefully siting just 11 turbines there.
Development of the South Fork Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island would have an overall "major" adverse impact on commercial fishing, according to a newly released federal study. Impacts to commercial fishing include navigational hazards from potential collisions, loss of fishing grounds and impacts from construction and operation, according to a final environmental impact statement released Monday by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
Workers at the Merkur wind farm in the German North Sea found signs of stress fatigue on the support structures of the “helihoist” platforms on some of the project’s GE Haliade turbines. Power generation at the 396-megawatt array was temporarily halted to come up with a solution to the problem, but the wind farm has since come back online. In June, Ørsted said it had put the five-year-old Block Island Wind Farm “on pause as a precautionary safety measure” to see if similar problems had arisen with the platforms at the top of the turbines that equipment and workers can be lowered onto from helicopters.
Ørsted, the Danish energy company that purchased the wind farm from the original developers, Deepwater Wind, said that four of the five turbines were taken offline earlier this summer as a precaution after GE, the manufacturer of the 6-megawatt turbines, identified the stress lines in the turbines.
Ørsted, the company that owns the wind farm, tells 12 News they’re conducting routine maintenance on the turbines. Right now, a spokesperson said they’re in the process of repairing stress lines inside four of the turbines.
I spent the better part of a week trying to learn why and, after many not-returned phone calls and emails, I finally got a statement from a Rhode Island public relations firm that called the shutdown "ongoing routine summer maintenance" that is expected to continue for "the next few weeks."
At the end of a contentious five-hour hearing on the South Fork Wind Farm on May 25, the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council took up a motion by chairwoman Jennifer Cervenka. She wanted to direct the developers of the large offshore wind farm proposed in Rhode Island Sound to sit down one more time with local fishermen to talk about the creation of a fund to compensate them for fishing losses caused by the project. Ørsted and Eversource, partners on the 132-megawatt wind farm, had offered to pay into the fund over 30 years, making regular installments that would eventually total $12 million.
Gov. Dan McKee has vetoed a bill pushed by a single renewable-energy developer — and big political contributor — that could have shifted millions of dollars in the costs of solar and wind projects from developers to ratepayers.
“If the council certifies the project as consistent, it will make a mockery of the process,” Michael Jarbeau, baykeeper with the environmental group, said before the council vote. “This might be the correct project, but it is certainly not the correct location.” He quoted from an analysis from the council’s own staff that described the project site as “one of the worst possible locations within Rhode Island Sound” for the wind farm. “We agree,” Jarbeau said. “While we understand there are risks of habitat loss to meet wind energy goals, this project will disrupt some of the most valuable habitat in Rhode Island Sound.”
But the Fishermen's Advisory Board in Rhode Island is opposing the package, according to a report in the Providence Journal. A lawyer for the group, Marisa Desautel, said the group has "serious concerns with the lack of information provided by Orsted" about the mitigation fund, including Orsted's involvement in how it will be paid out. The compensation package, to be paid over 30 years (or reduced to $5.2 million if taken as an upfront payment), was below a scientific study that estimated potential losses to fishermen of $15 million to $40.4 million, according to the paper.
A board of fishermen that advises Rhode Island coastal regulators on offshore wind development has come out in opposition to state certification of the South Fork Wind Farm. A lawyer for the Fishermen’s Advisory Board said a recommendation by staff at the Coastal Resources Management Council that was agreed to by developers Ørsted and Eversource to reduce the number of turbines in the 132-megawatt project and set up a fishing compensation fund does not meet the concerns of board members.
PROVIDENCE — The developers of the South Fork Wind Farm are set to reduce the number of turbines from 15 to 12 in response to a request from Rhode Island coastal regulators who want to minimize disruption to the marine environment and the state’s fishing industry.
PROVIDENCE — Offshore wind developers have assured the commercial fishing industry all along that the thousands of massive turbines that they want to install in the ocean up and down the East Coast won’t block fishermen from waters where they make their living.
National Grid, encountering unforeseen problems, has suspended work on Block Island to replace part of an underwater cable that delivers electricity from the nation’s first offshore wind farm to the mainland power grid. ...“We need to assess what is causing these obstructions, how best to get the pipe cleared, and ultimately complete the installation with confidence in the fall,” Terry Sobolewski, president of National Grid Rhode Island, said in a statement. “We’d rather get it right in the fall than try to rush completion of it now.”
PROVIDENCE – At the request of Gov. Dan McKee, state coastal regulators are putting off a key decision on the South Fork Wind Farm to give the project developers more time to reach a compensation agreement with the fishing industry.