Construction may once again commence at the site of North Kingstown’s would-be first wind turbine. The town has reinstated the building permit for North Kingstown Green, a subdivision where the turbine is set to be built, for a second time.
The permit was pulled back in April after the town discovered that a necessary land swap had not have been completed. After the permit was reinstated in May, the town pulled it again after town consultants Applied Science Associates found the Vestas V100 – the turbine model intended for the site – would not meet the town’s noise requirements.
Wind Energy Development, the turbine developers, submitted information regarding a new turbine – a Goldwind GW87. The town determined the new turbine model, which will be 389 feet tall versus the 427-foot-tall Vestas, meets the town’s requirements, thus allowing the permit reinstatement.
“We’re happy to have it in place and will proceed with construction on the turbine,” said David Darlington, spokesperson for Wind Energy Development. Darlington said it would take “a few weeks” for developers to get back on track and begin construction.
According to town solicitor James Reilly, the change in model won’t stop the turbine’s construction, unlike the Stamp Farm turbine application which the North Kingstown Planning Commission shot down after it had undergone “significant change.”
“The Stamp Farm application is a completely different situation,” said Reilly. “They were in the middle of the application process when they changed turbine models.”
The special use permit given to the developers back in May under the town’s old wind energy ordinance cannot be taken away in this case, Reilly said.
“If you get a special use permit and build a house, but halfway through decide to change from Pella windows and use Anderson ones and make them smaller, the building inspector would not make you start over again,” Reilly said.
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