NORTH KINGSTOWN – The town Planning Commission Thursday night declined to rule on a revised application for a controversial wind turbine at Stamp Farm until it knows who the manufacturer will be.
Wind Energy Development LLC, founded by Mark DePasquale, originally proposed a 427-foot, 1.8-megawatt turbine built by Danish company Vestas. It has since revised its proposal to a 389-foot, 1.5-megawatt turbine but has not said who would make it.
John C. Revens Jr., an attorney representing Richard Schartner of Schartner Farms, which opposes the turbine, argued that a new turbine at a new power rating meant this is a new application, which would be subject to the six-month moratorium on wind energy applications passed by the Town Council on Jan. 10.
Andrew M.Teitz, attorney for Wind Energy Development, said it’s simply a revised application and there is nothing in the town’s wind ordinance that requires the developer to designate who the turbine manufacture will be.
Requiring a particular turbine, he said, would put Wind Energy Development at a disadvantage when negotiating with turbine companies and could also lock the developer into outdated technology.
Revens said the Planning Commission is now being forced to rule on “a mystery turbine.”
Planning Commission members said they were troubled by the uncertainties of making a ruling based on an unknown turbine. Several said it’s the first time they can remember that an application became more vague over time instead of more specific.
The commission continued the hearing and ordered Wind Energy Development to return with an application that indicates the manufacturer of the proposed turbine at the Stamp Farm site. Then it would decide whether Wind Energy Development was submitting a new application.
Teitz said he would consult with his client before determining the next step.
About 200 people attended the meeting at North Kingstown High School. Most opposed the Stamp Farm turbine, but some were there on behalf of the developer, who passed out sky-blue T-shirts that read “We support Wind Energy Development.”