R.I. Leaders Urge PUC To Approve Deepwater PPA

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Rhode Island Gov. Donald L. Carcieri joined House Speaker Gordon D. Fox and Senate President M. Teresa Paiva-Weed in submitting a letter to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in strong support of the power purchase agreement (PPA) between National Grid and Deepwater Wind that is currently before the PUC for review.

In the letter, the three express the ‘commitment of the executive and legislative branches to supporting renewable energy resources and building an industry in Rhode Island focused on these emerging technologies.’

In the letter, the governor, speaker and senate president reinforce the intent of the long-term contracting legislation and how the project should be considered.

‘To that end, the General Assembly made clear the standard of review for this new PPA and also made clear that the appropriate comparison is not to other renewable energy resources or to projections of market power prices, but to what a power market expert would expect for a project of a similar size, technology and location. The question is, given the state's policy to develop a demonstration-scale offshore wind farm, is the PPA that has been negotiated commercially reasonable for that purpose,’ the letter states.

As required by the statute, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. (EDC) recently presented a report to the PUC by Seth Parker of Levitan & Associates on the economic developments of the proposed Block Island Wind Farm.

According to EDC's independent consultant, the overall economic benefit to Rhode Island attributed to the Block Island project is more than $100 million and close to $900 million for the larger project in federal waters, with the economic activity centered at Quonset Business Park.

The PUC is expected to issue a ruling later this month.

SOURCE: Office of Gov. Donald L. Carcieri

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