Articles from Rhode Island

Block Island Wind Farm to go offline in fall to rebury cable

The electric cables for the Block Island Wind Farm were supposed to be buried in trenches at least four feet below the seabed, but workers couldn’t get down as far as they wanted, and over the last four years waves have exposed portions of the transmission lines that run to and from a beach on the island. Now, Orsted, plans to rebury one of the two cables starting in the fall. ...But for an indeterminate amount of time during construction, the 30-megawatt wind farm, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build, will have to go offline.
9 Feb 2020

Wind farm cables to be lengthened for reburial

Fugate said that if the PUC votes to have the companies pay for the project out of pocket, the decision would be litigated. In July 2019, however, Ørsted told The Block Island Times that it would pay for the re-installation and not pass the cost of the project off to the public. National Grid has stated to the paper in the past that the cost of reinstalling a section of its sea2shore cable might be shared by mainland and island ratepayers. 
6 Feb 2020

Emails show bond between NOAA, fishermen against project

Doug Christel, a fishing policy analyst at NOAA, responded a week later. The federal agency had not been closely tracking the state process but had discussed Lapp's concerns, he said. "Similar to some of your comments, we feel the DEIS [draft environmental impact statement] underestimates landings from within the WDA," he wrote, referring to the wind development area leased by Vineyard Wind from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
25 Oct 2019

Sharks, skates and lobsters impacted by electric cables from Offshore Wind Facilities

Little is known about how marine life will respond to the electromagnetic fields emanating from the spiderweb of cables carrying electricity from the Block Island Wind Farm and the many other offshore wind-power installations planned for the East Coast. But a new series of studies by a team of oceanographers at the University of Rhode Island suggests that some organisms will definitely be impacted.
12 Sep 2019

Wind turbines and radar mix poorly

Glander went on to write that the Coast Guard may make the same recommendation for Vineyard Wind that it did for the Block Island Wind Farm, a research analysis indicating whether the turbines “produce radar reflections, blind spots, shadow areas, or other effects that could adversely impact safety of navigation.” If there are negative impacts to marine radar, Glander wrote, Vineyard Wind should recommend how to remedy them. If such remedies are necessary, he wrote they should be “funded by Vineyard Wind.”
22 Aug 2019

Judge upholds Coventry’s denial of green development project (solar)

Despite the fact the project was denied, DePasquale began prepping the two properties for the installation of solar arrays anyway. In early June, the Department of Planning & Development issued a cease-and-desist order for DePasquale’s unauthorized solar installation. A week later, on June 10, the town issued a finalized order, requiring that DePasquale remove all pilings and cease all work on the property except for seeding, loaming, and related landscape clean-up activities.
8 Aug 2019

Hopkinton considering ordinance to ban wind turbines

The amendment was proposed by Town Council member Sylvia Thompson, who asked the Planning Board to provide an advisory opinion on the matter to the council. Thompson said there was insufficient information on the possible effects of large wind turbines. “There’s just too many unknowns for the town to move forward on this, I believe. Let’s not allow any in town until we fully understand all the ramifications.”
8 Aug 2019

R.I. delegation raises concerns with speed of offshore wind review

Vineyard Wind already agreed to a nearly $17 million mitigation package in Rhode Island. But it doesn’t look like that will be enough. The fishing industry still has many issues. For example, the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association is worried about the effect these giant towers could have on boat radar, and the impediments that transmission cables could cause.
30 Jul 2019

Wind turbine rejected in unanimous decision

Najarian also criticized the company’s defense of the shadow flicker, disagreeing with the argument that a projected 10 hours of flicker per year for some neighbors fell well within an industry standard that considers up to 30 hours an acceptable amount. “Why should an abutting resident be expected to find one minute of flicker acceptable, never mind 10 hours?” he said.
10 Jul 2019

Unauthorized Coventry solar project ordered to stop work

The Department of Planning & Development recently issued a cease-and-desist order to an unauthorized solar installation off Carr’s Trail. The June 4 notice issued to 394 Carr’s Realty LLC and WED Coventry Seven LLC — a subsidiary of North Kingstown-based Green Development LLC, formerly Wind Energy Development LLC, founded by Mark DePasquale — claims a recent site inspection by two members of the Department of Planning & Development found “hundreds of piles had been driven into the ground commencing construction of a proposed solar generating facility that had been denied development plan approval by the Coventry Planning Commission” two years ago.
15 Jun 2019

Proposed wind farm clears another hurdle

Although the three commission members all voted to approve the agreement, they each acknowledged the risks associated with the wind farm and the uncertainties surrounding the benefits to electric customers. If the price of certificates representing the environmental benefits of renewable energy fails to increase as projected, then the contract could cost consumers in the long run, said commissioner Abigail Anthony. Additionally, much of the savings are expected to come on windy winter days when the wind farm is expected to displace more expensive oil generators or natural gas-burning plants that may charge a premium. If those savings are lower, the net benefits may be too, Anthony said.
29 May 2019

No vote on controversial wind turbine

In addition to the company, board members heard from residents, including Nicole Valliere, who purchased the house immediately next door to the Pacheco property for $925,000 in March. Valliere told board members she was not aware of the turbine plans until after the sale closed and would never have purchased the property if the information was available. “We had no idea this was happening,” she said. “We never, ever, ever would’ve purchased our home.”
15 May 2019

Public hearing to begin on Revolution Wind project

National Grid Rhode Island, the state’s main electricity distributor, is seeking the commission’s approval of its contract with Orsted US Offshore Wind to supply 400 megawatts of electricity from its Revolution Wind project in federal waters off the Rhode Island coast. The estimated cost of the project is about $1 billion.
19 Mar 2019

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