Environment
8:25 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Narragansett Suspends Talks with Deepwater Wind

Narragansett Town Hall.
Credit Bradley Campbell

The Narragansett Town Council Voted 5-0 to suspend talks with the offshore wind turbine developer, Deepwater Wind, until June.  The council felt its residents needed more time to vet a plan to run a transmission line through a popular beach.

The clock struck 11:10 at night when Narragansett Town Council finally voted to suspend talks with Deepwater Wind for a month. Thirty-two people from around the region spoke on the motion. At issue was a transmission line that would connect five offshore wind turbines, and Block Island, to the power grid. But that transmission line would run through Town Beach, the crown jewel of the town as one resident called it. Deepwater Wind says the line would be buried ten feet underground and safe. But Wakefield resident Judith Warburton doesn’t think the line is in the best interest for the town.

“I’m not quite sure what’s in it for Narragansett. It seems like once this company is given the green light… they have a green light. And what happens next?”

The suspension is one month less than originally proposed. But Councilman Matthew Mannix says the successful, amended motion will give the town enough time to review at the plan. After the suspended talks, the council wants Deepwater Wind to appear before a public forum.

Narragansett Town Beach
Credit Bradley Campbell

Deepwater CEO Jeff Grybowski says that is just fine.

“I think we’re happy to appear before the council and public to discuss a project anytime the council wants to talk about it," he says. "We have no problems describing it in detail and talking to the public and answering questions in any public forum they want to propose.”

Grybowski remains optimistic Deepwater can start construction on the transmission line at the end of this year.

DO you have insight or expertise on this subject?  Please email us, we'd love to hear from you.  news@ripr.org