September 6, 2010
Rhode Island

Wind farm appeals await written record

by Peter Voskamp, The Block Island Times, 09/04/10

The state Supreme Court is awaiting the final written record from the Public Utilities Commission before it can move forward on three appeals of the Block Island wind farm contract, according to court spokesman Craig N. Berke.

Only once the court receives the written record can the case be docketed, said Berke. The PUC has 30 days to provide the record.

After the case is docketed, a pre-briefing conference will be held with all the parties involved and a single court justice.

Attorney General Patrick Lynch has appealed the PUC approval of the Power Purchase Agreement reached between Deepwater Wind and National Grid for electricity generated from six to eight wind turbines within three miles of Block Island. Lynch has been joined by the Conservation Law Foundation and industrial concerns Toray Plastics and Polytop Corp.

All three appeals argue that the law that allowed the contract was unconstitutional; Lynch and the two companies further argue that the above-market costs imposed on ratepayers over the course of the 20-year contract – $370 million by most estimates – are not commercially reasonable.

As of Thursday, neither Deepwater Wind nor National Grid had filed papers with the court. TransCanada, a Canadian energy supplier that challenged the constitutionality of the law in the PUC, has also not filed.

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