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State committee to consider Deepwater cable agreement Dec. 4

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The State Properties Committee is set to meet Dec. 4 to consider an agreement that would allow Deepwater Wind to bring an underwater electric cable from its proposed Block Island wind farm to Scarborough State Beach in Narragansett.

Under the proposed deal, the cable would run under the beach to a parking lot and then under state roads to a switchyard that would be built next to Route 1. The entire route of the transmission line would be located on land owned by either the state Department of Environmental Management or the state Department of Transportation.

The two agencies would be paid a total of $1.7 million for easements on the land by either Deepwater, the Providence-based developer of the five-turbine offshore wind farm, or National Grid, the regional utility that would likely build the cable.

The cable is a crucial part of the offshore wind project, because the wind farm could generate much more power than Block Island could use. On windy days, excess power would be sent to the mainland electric grid via the cable. And on days the wind isn’t blowing, Block Island would receive power from the grid.

Deepwater initially proposed bringing the cable through Narragansett Town Beach but dropped the plan after residents and elected officials objected to an initial plan to string an electric line overhead through part of town and also raised concerns about construction at the beach.

Under that plan, the town would have been compensated for the work. Because the current plan uses only state-owned land, the town will receive no payments.