Articles filed under Transmission from Rhode Island
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.”
Ørsted A/S — the Danish power company that acquired Block Island when it bought Deepwater Wind in 2018 — is bearing the cost of reburying the Block Island cable connecting its turbines to the island grid. Spokesperson Lauren Burm declined to disclose the cost of the full project. "The original cable was installed by a previous owner."
National Grid, which owns the high-voltage power line from Block Island to Narragansett, expects to pay $30 million for its share of the reconstruction, which will require horizontal directional drilling. The state’s primary electric utility will recover the expense through an undetermined surcharge on ratepayers’ bills. ...The power line from the five-turbine Block Island Wind Farm reaches shore at Fred Benson Town Beach and leaves New Shoreham for Narragansett at Crescent Beach to the north. But keeping portions of the cable buried at Crescent Beach has been a struggle.
Fugate said that if the PUC votes to have the companies pay for the project out of pocket, the decision would be litigated. In July 2019, however, Ørsted told The Block Island Times that it would pay for the re-installation and not pass the cost of the project off to the public. National Grid has stated to the paper in the past that the cost of reinstalling a section of its sea2shore cable might be shared by mainland and island ratepayers.
“This fall we plan on installing additional sleeving over another section of cable to protect it from potential damage from a stray anchor or other heavy object. We will be meeting with the Coastal Resources Management Council and Deepwater Wind [on Thursday, Aug. 9] to discuss the current situation and explore other options. We will keep the town and other officials updated accordingly.”
The sea2shore transmission cable, installed by National Grid as part of the Block Island Wind Farm project, can now be seen about 25 feet from Town Beach at low tide. ...Deepwater Wind and National Grid expressed that they are going to send a diver out for a visual confirmation immediately, and obtain a more detailed survey of the area, and are reaching out to their international contacts that might have experience with an exposed cable.”
Starting 200 feet from shore, the next 80 feet of cable are currently only three feet below the ocean, and will need to be reburied.
New England’s most populous states are looking to tap Canadian dams and rivers for more of their electricity, a change that officials say would help cut greenhouse-gas emissions and help keep some of the nation’s highest power prices in check.
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 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.
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.
Federal regulators are being asked to resolve a regional rift over who should pay for new power lines needed to carry renewable electricity to southern New England. Vermont has joined New Hampshire and Rhode Island to oppose the cost-sharing formula being promoted by Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine. ...the more populated states are trying to offload much of the cost of the new power projects on other states in New England.
"We think that it is likely there will be significant additional transmission investment needed to maintain reliability and improve access to these clean, intermittent power sources," Lee Olivier, executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in an earnings call Friday. "But it is too early to estimate how much that additional investment will be and exactly when it will occur."
Deepwater Wind announced on Tuesday, Sept. 24, that it plans to install its electric transmission cable at Scarborough State Beach, located in Narragansett, R.I. Deepwater had originally planned to install the cable at Narragansett Town Beach, but withdrew those plans in August due to opposition from residents and the Narragansett Town Council.
The proposal to use Scarborough Beach follows Deepwater's announcement on Aug. 5 that it was dropping a plan to make landfall at the town beach after residents had banded together in opposition, raising concerns that cable construction could damage local tourism. The company said it would look for a more appropriate site.
Deepwater Wind has withdrawn its application with the Town of Narragansett to run its electric transmission cable through the town and build a new switchyard in Narragansett. Deepwater officials made the surprise announcement of the withdrawal today.
I do not think that the Narragansett Town Council will permit Deepwater Wind to funnel electricity from its Block Island wind farm through Narragansett. ...With a new town council in place, President James Callaghan stated publicly: "When you think about it, this is not the best for the town when it goes through our most precious resource."
The announcement followed a vote by the Narragansett Town Council to suspend talks with Deepwater for a month so that its members could have time to learn more about the company's plan to install five wind turbines in waters about three miles southeast of Block Island.
In particular dispute was the location of the cable lines from the town beach to the transfer station. The cable lines were first proposed above ground on extended poles. That permit was then amended to include buried lines in May 2013. But in a projected slide, Grybowski showed a detailed chronology of the location of the cables and said that the overhead lines were shown on the town's website as of Aug. 27, 2012.
"We just feel ... that it would be unsightly to place a high-voltage line right alongside Narragansett Avenue," Shields said this week. "I think that there's some trees there that are mature and I'm concerned they may have to cut them down and place these wires above the roof lines along the street."