Deepwater enlightens EUTG on permitting research

Wed, 10/31/2012 - 4:00pm
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Deepwater Wind attended the October 19 Electric Utilities Task Force Group meeting to present an explanation of its permitting application research, and to also provide updates on its project.

Aileen Kenney, Deepwater’s director of permitting, presented a PowerPoint synopsis of the company’s extensive environmental research. This research will be presented to the Army Corps and the Coastal Resources Management Council — the two major agencies in the permitting process. The Army Corps has opened public comment on the Deepwater project and CRMC is expected to soon.

Also on hand was company Chief Administrative Officer Jeff Grybowski, who presented clarification on the company’s decommissioning costs.

At a Sepember EUTG meeting, Deepwater said its decommissioning costs were projected to be at $7.45 million. However, audience members had asked why the company’s estimate is so different from the federal government’s $15 million estimate of decommissioning costs for an offshore project — double Deepwater’s.

Grybowski explained that Deepwater’s projections are project-specific, while the government projections look at wind turbine decommissioning costs in general (which could include larger projects and other factors). Grybowski said that there were three different ways to estimate decommissioning costs; Deepwater looked at all three and came up with similar numbers for its project.

The EUTG plans to draft a letter to the Town Council with an advisory position to be sent out to the Army Corps. The group will comment on the environmental and economic benefits of the project and provide a brief description of whether or not there are other alternatives. The group set a special meeting date of Nov. 2 to discuss the letter draft.

Audience member Rosemarie Ives presented some criticisms about the Deepwater project, including a potential impact on property values.

BIPCo financials and streetlights

Also presented were the financial operating statements for its fiscal year of May 2010 to May 2011. The report states that “BIPCo Energy Sales [are] Up,” showing a rise from fiscal year 2010. Block Island Power Company owner Cliff McGinnes told the Times later that the financials were on track as compared to previous years.

BIPCo also presented demonstrations of LED street lighting models; the EUTG in the past has discussed the possibly of using more energy efficient LED streetlights. McGinnes had commented that the last time he had looked into them, they weren’t cost effective. However, he has recently reached out to several vendors and received demo models of some new technologies. McGinnes told the Times that they have now been installed in three test locations.

The Times was not present at this meeting, and gathered reports following it.