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State launches initiative to tap hydroelectric plants

COVENTRY -- Governor Carcieri yesterday unveiled a state initiative to develop several small hydroelectric generators along major rivers. Carcieri said that harnessing the water's energy could generate up to 10 megawatts of power, or roughly 1 percent of the state's overall electricity consumption...........The wind-power initiative is on track, Carcieri said. Applied Technology & Management of Newport has been hired to complete a feasibility study that will recommend potential sites, both on- and offshore, for wind turbines, he said.

COVENTRY -- Governor Carcieri yesterday unveiled a state initiative to develop several small hydroelectric generators along major rivers.

Carcieri said that harnessing the water's energy could generate up to 10 megawatts of power, or roughly 1 percent of the state's overall electricity consumption.

"While we may not have the reserves of oil and natural gas that many states have," Carcieri said, "we are blessed with rivers and the ocean, and we need to put those natural resources to work for us."

The governor made the announcement as he stood by the Pawtuxet River, near a site where a private developer plans to install a water turbine as part of a bigger effort to convert an old textile mill into an apartment and condominium complex.

The developer, Jerry Diodati, said his Johnston-based company, Rhode Island Construction Service, will convert the 156-year-old Harris Mill into 160 units of living space.

As part of the project, Diodati said, he'll rebuild the mill's power plant, which consists of an old water turbine, and install a generator to make electricity from the excess steam from the heating system.

The power plant upgrades will cost $1.5 million, and the state has... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

COVENTRY -- Governor Carcieri yesterday unveiled a state initiative to develop several small hydroelectric generators along major rivers.

Carcieri said that harnessing the water's energy could generate up to 10 megawatts of power, or roughly 1 percent of the state's overall electricity consumption.

"While we may not have the reserves of oil and natural gas that many states have," Carcieri said, "we are blessed with rivers and the ocean, and we need to put those natural resources to work for us."

The governor made the announcement as he stood by the Pawtuxet River, near a site where a private developer plans to install a water turbine as part of a bigger effort to convert an old textile mill into an apartment and condominium complex.

The developer, Jerry Diodati, said his Johnston-based company, Rhode Island Construction Service, will convert the 156-year-old Harris Mill into 160 units of living space.

As part of the project, Diodati said, he'll rebuild the mill's power plant, which consists of an old water turbine, and install a generator to make electricity from the excess steam from the heating system.

The power plant upgrades will cost $1.5 million, and the state has agreed to loan Diodati's company $500,000 from the Renewable Energy Fund. That money comes from a surcharge on the bills of all electricity customers in Rhode Island.

The company will also borrow another $500,000 in private financing, which the state Economic Development Corporation will guarantee, if needed, said Andrew Dzykewicz, chief energy adviser to the governor. The final $500,000 will come from private equity investments.

The term of the loan is 20 years at an interest rate of 2 percent, Dzykewicz said. In addition to the loan payments, the project will also return to the state a portion of the proceeds it receives from selling "renewable energy certificates." A market has been created in New England for these certificates, as states require a portion of their electricity to be produced by renewable energy. Dzykewicz said he expects the state's share of the Harris mill certificate sales to be about $120,000 a year. Those payments are in addition to the loan payments, he said, and will run for the life of the project.

Dzykewicz said another promising project in the works is the development of a hydroelectric station at the former American Tourister mill in Warren. He said the state Office of Energy Resources has provided a grant to the developer of the mill's renovation project to determine the feasibility of installing a turbine on the Palmer River that could generate electricity based on changing tides.

Carcieri said the new water-power initiative has prompted him to raise his goal of how much renewable energy is produced in the state. In January, he called for 15 percent of the state's overall electricity consumption to come from wind power by the year 2016. With the hydro projects, his new goal is to have 20 percent of the power come from renewable resources. And he said the state should be able to accomplish that by 2011, five years earlier than his original goal.

"It's very ambitious, I understand that," Carcieri said. "We've got to take this bull by the horns and do whatever we can, as fast as we can."

The wind-power initiative is on track, Carcieri said. Applied Technology & Management of Newport has been hired to complete a feasibility study that will recommend potential sites, both on- and offshore, for wind turbines, he said.

David Mendelsohn, Northeast regional director for the company, said that Carcieri's goal of producing 15 percent of the state's electricity is "probably" achievable. He said that while there is enough wind to generate that amount of electricity, he couldn't give a more certain answer because of possible opposition to tower locations. It was too early in the study's process to identify potential sites for wind turbines, he said. The study is scheduled to be finished by the end of the year.

tbarmann@projo.com / (401) 277-7369

 

 

 


Source: http://www.projo.com/busine...

SEP 9 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/4469-state-launches-initiative-to-tap-hydroelectric-plants
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