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Tiverton chooses firm to subdivide industrial park, analyze wind farm potential

Tiverton Town Administrator James Goncalo told the Town Council on Monday night that a Cranston firm was chosen to subdivide the vacant town industrial park.

The town administrator provided the Tiverton Town Council with an update on Monday night to a proposal to subdivide the industrial park, a preliminary step being taken to explore wind farm construction for the town.

James Goncalo said DiPrete Engineering, of Cranston, was one of three candidates selected by the Planning Board to subdivide the land parcels in the industrial park. They will also be charged with building a meteorlogical tower that will analyze wind speeds and topography in the area that will aid in further study to determine if building a wind farm is feasible.

However, the Planning Board awaits further instruction from the state planning board, Goncalo added, which is slowing the process down.

A request-for-proposal was submitted by the town in December to subdivide approximately 177 acres of the industrial park, which abuts Route 24. The proposalm envisions a “green park,” which will combine a number of wind energy conservation facilities with other “low impact” energy efficiency and construction facilities.

The final plan should create a mix of land parcel sizes to welcome a broad range of future development proposals. The RFP is asking to for a 40,000-square-foot minimum subdivision for each parcel.

Town Planner Chris Spencer said the wind farm proposal has oversight from the East Bay Energy Consortium, a nine-town collaborative from as far north as East Providence to as far south as Little Compton and Newport, to find ways of reducing energy costs and increase renewable energy production.

Spencer said the idea is to place 10 wind turbines in Tiverton’s industrial park, including adjoining land in North Tiverton and Stone Bridge fire districts. On the government end, Spencer said the town has to eventually create an ordinance to allow for wind turbines.

Last month the industrial park’s only tenant, Tiveton Power, Inc. was sold to a Canadian company.

“We’re trying to create as many parcels as possible,” he said. “Each town could have a turbine.”

He said there is legislation pending before the General Assembly that could affect the project concept and cost, such as a proposal on net-metering.

“They’ve studied each town’s energy load and wind need,” he said about the state planning board.

To create such a development, Tiverton would also require access roads, a report on its sewer capacity and a gas connection.