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Potential wind farm in Tiverton could benefit Bristol, Warren

The potential construction of a wind farm in Tiverton could bring Bristol and Warren revenue from the sale of electricity

A workshop has been scheduled for Jan. 30 with the nine towns, including Bristol and Warren, that make up the East Bay Energy Consortium (EBEC) to discuss a possible wind farm cooperative. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Tiverton Town Hall.

On Tuesday, ecoRI reported that EBEC’s goal is to create a regional alternative energy source that make up its nine towns – Bristol, Warren, Tiverton, Little Compton, Portsmouth, Middletown, Newport, Barrington and East Providence – and ultimately share revenue from the sale of electricity.

EBEC is reportedly looking to install solar arrays as part of the project and is weighing its options on the price to buy electricity, either through National Grid or Rhode Island’s electricity distribution laws. In addition, the consortium is reportedly crafting legislation to become an independent government agency to potentially eliminate the project’s liability on the nine towns.

A constructed meteorlogical tower has been taking wind readings in the proposed location, an industrial park in Tiverton, since last summer. About 1,000 Tiverton residents turned in wind energy surveys last summer which asked several general and specific questions on wind energy production. Of those that turned in the survey, the results show support in Tiverton for wind energy.

Engineers and members of EBEC approached the Tiverton Town Council in November, proposing 10, 80-foot turbines for an overall 20 to 25 megawatt system. He said the project will cost between $50 and $70 million, and produce a net return of about $23 to $40 million over the life of the project.

Last month, a Tiverton energy developer claimed a cooperative with the other eight East Bay towns could have a negative effect and, instead, suggested Tiverton work with a private developer.