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

Deepwater is at it again

My previous letter to the Independent (“Wind resistance still active”, South County Independent, Aug. 22, 2013) included an observation that “it was Deepwater Wind’s own deception and inconsistencies that paved the way to its downfall” (not to win easements from the town Council), a promise to the residents of Narragansett that we will continue our vigilance of Deepwater Wind and, third, a warning to Deepwater Wind: “don’t be secretive any more.”

It took them only one month to attempt another secretive procedure – this time at the state level. On Sept. 22, the State Properties Committee announced an agenda that would have included a seemingly innocuous item to consider an offshore wind project, obviously an alternative proposal for Deepwater Wind’s power cable to make landfall now at Scarborough Beach. That meeting was eventually canceled.

This new scheme, little as we know about it, is outrageous in its proposed alignment and in Deepwater Wind’s failure to release their new plans first to the public via a revised Environmental Report. Deepwater Wind used precisely the same tactic one year ago by negotiating first with Narragansett officials for several months privately before releasing their original report. A revised report must be released and scrutinized by the public before any negotiations between Deepwater Wind and state agencies are scheduled, or have an appearance of having been discussed. An exact repeat of this tactic at the state level goes beyond the pale.

There are officials in state government who should – actually must – realize that this deception was a major factor in the Narragansett Town Council’s unanimous rejection of Deepwater Wind’s arrogant proposal one month ago. The other aspect of the proposal that helped defeat it will become apparent soon to state authorities as they examine the outrageous profits Deepwater Wind and its backer, F.D. Shaw, will receive through the generosity of all electricity ratepayers in Rhode Island. Transparency is the key ingredient needed here.

Robert Shields