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Portsmouth residents voice concerns over off-shore wind turbine 

Credit:  by JOHN PERIK, NBC 10 NEWS, Fri, February 23rd 2024 at turnto10.com ~~

Some Portsmouth residents are expressing their concerns over an electrical cable that would connect off-shore wind turbines to the power grid at Brayton Point.

The cable would run through the Sakonnet River along the east side of Aquidneck Island.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management held a public hearing Friday night at which many Portsmouth residents expressed concerns over the burial of the cable dredging up pollution from the bottom of the river, while also harming marine life.

“This is going to devastate the fisheries,” said Carol Mello, a Portsmouth resident. “We are devastated, we really are. We are a group of people who really cares about our environment and we are all for renewable energy, but not this way.”

If approved, the cable would power 75 wind turbines owned by Southcoast Wind. The wind turbine farm would be located 60 miles off the coast of Rhode Island and could provide enough power for 800,000 homes.

Also present at Friday’s meeting were project supporters, including Christine Gadbois, a Portsmouth resident.

“I’m really excited that Portsmouth is finally having an opportunity to be part of the solution,” Gadbois said. “It’s hard for me to see how we can argue with a safe proven technology that’s in place all over the world.”

Dugan Becker, the Rhode Island Community Liaison for Southcoast Wind, agreed with Gadbois. Becker told NBC 10 News that the whole wind turbine project could cost nearly $6 billion.

“Opportunities like this don’t come around that often, I think we’re at a pivotal moment when it comes to addressing climate change and creating new opportunities for our community,” said Becker. “I just hope that people keep an open mind.”

The proposed location for the wind turbines in the Sakonnet River. (WJAR)

Some of the people against the proposal are still supporters of green energy, including Sharon Allan who has solar panels on her home.

“A lot of frustration and I don’t want to hear anymore from the people who are off with the wind, I’m for the wind too, wind and solar, I’m upset with where they’re doing this and what they’re going to do,” said Allan. “I have nothing against these people but they’re fighting the wrong battle here.”

The Department of Environmental Management told NBC 10 News that it hopes on having a decision on the cable installation proposal by mid-March.

Source:  by JOHN PERIK, NBC 10 NEWS, Fri, February 23rd 2024 at turnto10.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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