Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rhode island in the energy news

It would appear that some serious work is afoot to get renewable electric generation a better chance in RI. The state is considering several bills that would give the local electric utility an incentive to make power purchasing agreements with renewable generators. Not quite the same as a feed in tariff, but it could definitely spur developer interest by almost guaranteeing them a sales contract on their power, but also gets the utility involved by giving them an incentive to purchase this power with.a 4% profit increase. (The Block Island Times)

In other news, unsurprisingly, plans to develop offshore wind and wave generators is effectively on hold. The commission charged with protecting the states waters has asked for a one year moratorium on any projects in state waters while the commission and URI work out appropriate zoning, use and permitting procedures for such projects. Even without an official moratorium, effectively all of the proposed projects are on hold while the Coastal Resources Management Commission performs this work.

And still more news, the town of Portsmouth, which shares an island with the more famous Newport, has approved plans to construct a turbine to provide power to some town buildings such as the high school and to sell the excess power to the local utility. Final approvals from all of the relevant authorities haven't been granted yet, but its a start. Several other towns are investigating similar projects including Barrington and Warwick. If completed, this will more than triple the installed wind capacity of the state. (Providence Journal)

And since we're talking about fun things, Providence will be playing host to a professional bicycle race, the US Open of Cycling on May 31. The race organizer is hoping to make it a permanent fixture of the UCI race calendar as well as of the city. (Velonews)