By Flo Jonic
Providence, R.I. – With the stroke of a pen, Gov. Carcieri brought the Block Island wind farm project one step closer to reality.
Carcieri has signed into law a bill that clarifies the General Assembly's original support for a demonstration sized wind farm off Block Island. The project had been jeopardized by the Public Utilities Commission, which deemed the 24-cent kilowatt hour price agreed upon too expensive for consideration.
The bill sets 24 cents as the maximum price allowed but with construction savings it could be lower. The bill orders the Public Utilities Commission to facilitate a power purchase agreement between National Grid and Deepwater Wind, the wind farm developer, within 45 days.
At a signing ceremony, House Speaker Gordon Fox said the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico makes the need for alternative forms of energy more urgent. Gov. Carcieri hailed the bill as putting the state on a new course that will reduce our reliance on foreign oil.