Wind Power News: Rhode Island
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
In response to the whale carcass recently discovered on a beach in Jamestown, R.I., and the suggestion by local newspapers that the death of the creature may have been caused by the Block Island Wind Farm, the state’s Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) is claiming there is no scientific evidence to prove the theory. The government office cites information from the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which says there has been no scientific evidence collected to date of . . .
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – In response to a just-released request for proposals from Massachusetts utilities for offshore wind power, Deepwater Wind plans to submit a project that, if selected, would constitute the second phase of development in an area off Rhode Island that the Providence company is leasing from the federal government. The project, which Deepwater has yet to release any details about, would follow construction of a 90-megawatt wind farm, targeted for completion in 2022, that would supply power to Long . . .
The 32-foot carcass of a humpback whale washed ashore Friday morning after drifting west from Newport’s Brenton Point. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Castle Hill station received reports in the middle of last week about a dead whale floating at the mouth of Narragansett Bay. Rescue workers and two veterinarians from Mystic Aquarium were on-site Friday when it reached land to collect genetic samples. A preliminary report indicates the whale is a male between 2-3 years old. As . . .
Also worth noting, S-0703: Farm Based Renewable Energy would allow renewable energy (wind and solar) on farms larger than 15 acres that have not been protected previously. Projects meeting this definition would be approved as a matter of right with some restrictions such as percentage of lot coverage and continued usability of underlying land. This bill is listed as “held for further study” as of April 26, 2017. This is typically a sign that the bill will not be acted on in the current legislative session. It is difficult, however, to predict with certainty as legislation thought to be inactive can sometimes receive approval at the last moment with little advanced notice.
Kim Gaffett, the resident Naturalist for the The Nature Conservancy and resident bird expert, is among a group spearheading a first-of-its-kind study to track the collision risk of two particular species of birds that migrate near the Block Island Wind Farm. The behavioral study is being conducted to determine how these migratory birds react to wind turbine towers, utilizing data from VHF radio transmitter signals. Gaffett, who is working with Scott Comings of The Nature Conservancy and Dr. Peter Paton . . .
On Jan. 31, 2017 the Block Island Power Company filed a docket with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission asking for Declaratory Judgment on the matter of having National Grid socialize the interconnection costs and a spare transformer across all Rhode Island ratepayers, as opposed to having only Block Island ratepayers shoulder those costs. After four months of filings by the various parties, BIPCo’s petition was finally heard on Tuesday, May 30, at the PUC’s offices in Warwick. At the . . .
It’s a tiny island with a big claim to fame. “We, the smallest town in the smallest state in the United States, have the very first offshore wind farm and we should be so proud,” Nancy Dodge of the Block Island Power Company Board said earlier this month. Her enthusiastic comments came as Block Island turned off its diesel generators, and started using offshore wind power as its source of electricity. That switch officially happened on May 1 after years . . .
After an Eyewitness News investigation in April revealed a toppled 100-foot wind turbine was “missing bolts” for nearly a year, a state lawmaker is calling for a House Oversight Committee investigation. State Rep. Jason Knight, D-Barrington, said he was livid after our report revealed nothing was done to make repairs to the wind turbine at Salty Brine beach before its collapse. A public records request uncovered an email from an inspection company sent to two R.I. Department of Environmental Management . . .
WEST WARWICK – The town council passed a 6-month moratorium on wind energy projects this week, putting a temporary halt on related development until December 31, 2017. West Warwick Town Council Vice President John D’Amico proposed made the proposal, citing that it would be beneficial to implement until the town finishes revisions for its wind energy ordinance and updates to the Comprehensive Plan. D’Amico said he has been working with zoning board solicitor Albert DiFiore to rewrite the zoning code on . . .
A strong storm last month sent a 100-foot wind turbine toppling over at Salty Brine State Beach in Narragansett. Eyewitness News dug into the turbine’s history and uncovered state officials were warned the tower may have been unstable nearly a year before it fell. Wind gusts up to 60 mph on March 14 snapped the $32,000 state-funded structure in half. Unveiled in 2010, it was built to withstand winds up to 130 mph. In response to a public records request . . .