Documents from Rhode Island
This important research sheds critical light on the habitat of the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale in relation to offshore wind lease areas. The abstract of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be downloaded from the document links on this page.
Invenergy's proposal to construct a controversial 1,000 MW natural gas-fired combined cycle facility in Burrillville, RI includes a mandate to offer a property value guarantee to abutting property owners. Invenergy is steadfast in refusing to offer the same agreement to neighbors of its wind energy power plants. A portion of the PVG approved by the Burrillville's town council is provided below. The full agreement can be accessed by selecting the links on this page.
Benjamin Riggs, the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association and others filed this complaint in Federal Court pertaining to the approval of an above-market power contract between Deepwater Wind and National grid. The plaintiffs initially pursued this matter before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”). However FERC chose not to act on it itself but rather to refer the matter to the courts. Consequently they ruled that “Our decision not to initiate an enforcement action means that Mr. Riggs may himself bring an enforcement action against the Rhode Island Commission in the appropriate court”. By law, that is federal court. The current action is limited to asking the federal government to assert its clear authority over the pricing mechanism for the Deepwater project. The complaint, a portion of which appears below, speaks for itself. The full complaint can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. In addition, the plaintiffs filed the attached Memorandum that explains the Motion for Summary Judgment.
Newport Rhode Island adopted this wind energy ordinance to protect the residents from potential impacts of the towers. The full ordinance is provided below and can be accessed at the link on this page.
The following is a memorandum of law prepared by the Advocacy Section of the Rhode Island division of public utilities and carriers. The memo relates to a complaint filed by Rhode Island resident Benjamin Riggs involving a wind turbine installed and operated by the Town of Portsmouth.
Energy expert William Short submitted this testimony to the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission in reference to the State's review of a power purchase agreement negotiated between Deepwater Wind Block Island, LLC and the utility Narragansett Electric Company. Deepwater Wind proposed a pilot offshore wind project with initial energy costs of 24.4 cents a kilowatt hour ($244 a megawatt hour). Mr. Short explains in detail how energy costs far exceed the project's claimed monetary benefits. His conclusion is excerpted below. The full testimony, including exhibits, can be downloaded via the links at the bottom of the page. The PUC voted to disapprove the agreement.
This letter was submitted to the Town of New Shoreham on Block Island prior to the Town granting permission for Deepwater Wind to erect a met tower on town land under the Special Temporary Provisions (Section 112) of the Town's zoning. Under Section 112, permits may be granted only for a use or purpose that cannot be accomplished by compliance with provisions of the ordinance. Attorney Hagopian argues that Deepwater's proposal does not meet the "exigent circumstance requirements" including risks to public health and safety or any other emergency or urgent necessity that warrants invoking this provision.
Memo from the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities Chairman, Paul Hibbard, to the ISO New England. Chairman Hibbard expresses his concerns over the push to regionalize costs for building expensive transmission lines to service renewable projects (wind) built far from load centers. Current FERC rules are unclear on how to justify distribution of the costs across all ratepayers within the region unless it can be shown such transmission is needed to ensure the reliability and integrity of the grid.
New England ISO (NE ISO) control area includes the six states of New England (CT, RI, MA, ME, NH, VT).
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.
This presentation indicates that for New England the increasing demand for summer-time electricity is greater and increasing faster than winter-time demand. The fast-rising need for power in summer will likely result in construction of new power plants to keep ahead of demand - although inland industrial wind plants will not be able to contribute much to this demand period due to their very low capacity factor during summer months.
Comments to FERC by the New England Conference of Public Utility Commissions and the Vermont Department of Public Service