Library filed under Energy Policy from Rhode Island
Governor Carcieri's wind-power initiative suffered a significant setback Friday when the General Assembly failed to pass a bill that the governor said was needed to support the project. The legislation would have created the Rhode Island Power Authority, a quasi-public agency that would have had the authority to issue bonds to finance renewable energy projects, such as the proposal by the governor to establish one or more wind farms capable of generating 15 percent of Rhode Island's electricity usage. The project, comparable in scope to the proposed Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound, could cost $900 million to $1.9 billion to build, depending on where the turbines would be located, how many were erected and several other variables. Without the power authority legislation, the wind-energy project is essentially on hold, said Andrew Dzykewicz, the commissioner of the state Office of Energy Resources.
Legislation submitted to the R.I. General Assembly by Gov. Donald L. Carcieri would create a R.I. Power Authority to spearhead the development of renewable energy sources and ensure that Rhode Islanders are the primary beneficiaries of whatever electricity is produced. The bill, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Dennis Algiere, R-Westerly, and co-sponsored by Senate President Joseph A. Montalbano, D-North Providence, is to be heard tomorrow (Thursday, May 3) by the Senate Corporations Committee.
NARRAGANSETT, R.I. - Gov. Don Carcieri's administration this week unveiled a report calling it feasible to build wind farms off the coast of Rhode Island as part of a plan to get 15 percent of the state's energy from wind in five years. Wind is plentiful in pockets along Narragansett Bay, and wind farms could supply much-needed energy to the Ocean State. But in a region where other wind projects have met with opposition, and in a state that prizes its shoreline, there's a lingering question over whether residents will support such a project. "Is aesthetics going to be a problem for people? That's the question. That's really the only question," said Andrew Dzykewicz, commissioner of the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources.
Although the approach is too late for projects that have already begun a federal review process, a dozen New England congressmen and senators have asked for help from the Department of Energy in coordinating a regional approach to siting liquefied natural gas facilities. Reps. Tom Allen and Mike Michaud have both signed on to this request, which makes sense for future energy projects.
Renewable-energy groups from throughout Rhode Island will meet here Saturday to discuss ways communities can install wind turbines that would be used to offset the cost of electricity. The meeting, at Roger Williams University, was organized by Bristol Wind Power, a local group that formed in support of a nonbinding referendum on wind energy that won overwhelming approval from voters last month. The referendum capped a two-year study of wind power in Bristol that has yet to produce a concrete proposal to erect a turbine in town. The Town Council decided to hold the vote to gauge the sentiments of townspeople before moving forward with any plan.
New England will need to add power plants capable of generating 4,300 megawatts, and $3.4 billion of additional transmission investment, by 2015 to avoid blackouts, the region’s grid operator says. The area will need 170 megawatts of new power before the summer of 2009 to assure adequate supplies, according to ISO New England Inc., the power grid and wholesale market operator that serves the region’s 14 million people........ If a 1,000 megawatt coal or nuclear power plant had been installed in 2005, buyers in the wholesale market would have saved $600 million in power costs, the report said.
Under the agreement, ISO New England will project regional power needs three years in advance and hold annual auctions to buy power resources, including new and existing power plants. Incentives would encourage private operators to respond to power system emergencies, and operators that don't make extra capacity available would face penalties.
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.
With the commitment to clean power, however, come increased costs in the short term. The costs come from investments in renewable energy certificates or building alternatives such as wind turbines, Wall said. Extra costs could also come if, like residents have already done, the town turned some buildings over to clean energy through the utility company, he said.
``The problem we're having with all these wind farms is . . . they're proposing to put them in all the worst places," said Thomas W. French , assistant director of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. ``If they could do what the Russell Biomass plant did, which is to find a preexisting, historical industrial district, we'd be applauding them." As part of the ongoing state permitting process for the plant, French's division worked with its developers to reroute proposed power lines to reduce their impact on wildlife.
WORCESTER— Absent interest in lower-priced fuels, New Englanders should brace for continued high electricity prices, the byproduct of a regional system heavily dependent on oil, natural gas and coal, the head of the region’s power grid said yesterday.
Energy efficiency is by no means a permanent solution, but it should be a permanent part of the solution. Sensible energy use, combined with new power resources, is the only workable answer for New England.
Lee also warned that renewable energy sources, though desirable, were not a "silver bullet" solution. "It does leave an environmental footprint," Lee said, noting that wind energy and solar energy take up large areas of land, making it difficult to find a place to put them, especially in densely populated parts of the world.
Renewable energy sources have disadvantages as well as advantages, however. Although their costs have decreased in recent years, many renewables are still more costly than traditional sources. Some are also available only intermittently; for example, wind can be variable and hydroelectric is seasonal. And while many people are in favor of renewables in principle, many are also unhappy when faced with the prospect of a windmill or a trash-burning power plant in their neighborhood. These facilities face the same siting and investment difficulties that any electrical facility would, as the developers of a proposed wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod have discovered in recent years.
...the MEA Report can be used to estimate the value (avoided emissions) of Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) by providing both REC suppliers and stakeholders with information that can be used to communicate the environmental benefits of RECs and works to enhance the overall REC marketplace. Editor's Note: As noted below under Methodology [emphasis added], this report appears to substantiate the point that wind energy would not backdown "baseload" generation.
PROVIDENCE -- Governor Carcieri yesterday announced an ambitious plan to supply 15 percent of the state's total electricity demand with wind power, and he named his choice to fill the new position of energy adviser.
PROVIDENCE -- Gov. Don Carcieri, moving to address soaring energy costs and high home heating bills, announced a five-point energy plan Thursday that includes calls for reforming the electricity market and increasing the supply of natural gas.
There's more to determining the value of wind power than knowing which way the wind blows -- or even how hard. MIT researchers studying winds off the Northeast coast have found that estimating the potential environmental benefits from wind and other renewables requires a detailed understanding of the dynamics of both renewable resources and conventional power generation. Data show that wind-energy facilities would generate far more electricity in winter, because that's when winds are strongest. But the need for electricity is greatest in summer, when air conditioners are going full blast.
After briefly wavering, Governor M. Jodi Rell of Connecticut yesterday agreed to sign onto a multistate greenhouse gas pact that Massachusetts and Rhode Island rejected Wednesday.
The head of New England's biggest natural gas utility promised yesterday that homes and businesses across the region will face no shortage of gas for heating this winter.