By Ian Donnis
Providence, RI – A divided Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission has approved a power-purchase agreement between National Grid and Deepwater Wind.
The approval is a key step for Deepwater's plan to build an eight-turbine wind farm off Block Island.
Commissioner Mary Bray was the lone dissenting vote on three of four conditions for approval. The increased price for electricity in the agreement - slightly more than 24 cents per kilowatt-hour - will hurt business, Bray says.
"I find it to be beyond a doubt that this project, at these prices, will be a long-term detriment to our economy particularly existing businesses struggling to stay afloat," Bray says.
Deepwater Wind called the vote "a major step in solidifying Rhode Island's leadership position in offshore wind development."
Attorney General Patrick Lynch says he plans to challenge the PUC's decision in the Rhode Island Supreme Court.