- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Zoning board to consider permit for turbines; meeting on Tuesday

CHARLESTOWN – The final chapter of a three-plus-year-long saga over the planned construction of two wind turbines may open Tuesday night.

The Zoning Board of Review will meet at 7 p.m. at Charlestown Elementary School to consider a special use permit that would allow Whalerock Renewable Energy LLC to build two 262-foot-high wind turbines on an 81-acre site north of Route 1 between King’s Factory Road and East Quail Run. The blades would bring the total height to more than 400 feet.

The meeting is being held at the school to accommodate an anticipated large crowd, including organized opposition featuring town officials and abutters of the site. Both had their lawsuits attempting to halt construction of the turbines dismissed last month by Rhode Island Superior Court Associate Justice Kristin Rodgers, who ordered the hearing within 60 days of her decision.

In addition, local developer Larry LeBlanc, owner of the site, also received a favorable ruling on his contention that the Planning Commission had only advisory power over the proposal and could not reject it.

Last week, the Town Council voted to appropriate up to $50,000 for the hiring of a special counsel to represent the town and engage witnesses and expert testimony.

With the council having enacted a moratorium on the town’s wind power ordinance, Whalerock must obtain a special use permit to build the turbines.