Articles from Rhode Island

With federal approval of South Fork wind farm, construction could begin early next year

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.
27 Nov 2021

Northeast grid rules could make or break clean energy

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.
23 Nov 2021

Final report on South Fork Wind Farm cautions of impacts to fishing industry

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.
18 Aug 2021

Study: Wind farm could have 'major' impacts on commercial fishing

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.
17 Aug 2021

Block Island offshore wind farm still down for maintenance and safety inspections

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. 
14 Aug 2021

Did McKee 'stack the deck' for offshore wind and threaten coastal council's credibility?

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.
29 Jul 2021

RI coastal regulators back South Fork Wind Farm, over objections from fishermen

“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.” 
2 Jun 2021

South Fork Wind Farm to reduce turbines but fishing group has 'serious concerns'

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.
1 Jun 2021

Alleging 'backroom deal,' fishermen's group opposes new plan for South Fork Wind Farm

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.
26 May 2021

Problems prompt National Grid to suspend work reburying Block Island wind farm cable

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.” 
4 May 2021

Foster Planning Board votes to prohibit wind turbines

Wind turbines appear headed for a townwide ban in Foster after the Planning Board voted 5-1 to change the green energy ordinance to no longer allow the alternate energy sources in town last Wednesday. ...Sackal provided research, documentation, testimonies and written statements against wind turbines. He said an all-out ban is the best way to go, and the town can deal with potential litigation as it comes. “Once you let these things up, you have no control over what happens,” he said.
14 Apr 2021

https://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Rhode+Island&type=Article
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