PROVIDENCE – An environmental group has asked the R.I. Supreme Court to overturn the approval of a contract key to the development of a wind farm off Block Island.
The Conservation Law Foundation Rhode Island chapter Friday appealed the R.I. Public Utilities Commission’s approval of a power-purchase agreement between wind farm developer Deepwater Wind and National Grid.
The commission approved the contract in August after rejecting a similar one in March, saying the price of electricity was too high. The General Assembly and Gov. Donald L. Carcieri responded with a law mandating the commission take another look.
In papers filed with the court, the Conservation Law Foundation argues the revised law violated the Rhode Island Constitution by favoring one company. The foundation also said General Assembly “overstepped its bounds” in intervening in case. The law caused the PUC to rule on a case it already decided and that violated judicial precedent that forbids hearing the same case twice, the foundation said.
The foundation asked the court to overturn the PUC decision or, alternatively, to find that the law ordering the second review unconstitutional. R.I. Attorney General Patrick Lynch has vowed to bring a similar appeal.
The Supreme Court is obligated to hear any appeals under the law that set up the PUC hearing process. It was unclear Monday morning when the court would take up the case.
Deepwater Wind has said time is critical to the project. The New Jersey-based company wants the eight-turbine wind farm operational by the end of 2012 when certain federal tax credits expire.
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