RI Supreme Court hears wind power appeal

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island's highest court heard arguments Wednesday on whether it should repeal an agreement between Deepwater Wind and power company National Grid.

The agreement allows National Grid to spread out the costs of renewable energy to everyone connected to the power grid. This means companies that buy from another utility but use National Grid for distribution must pay for wind energy.

State Senator Josh Miller supports the agreement, and says this is the fairest way to pay for wind energy.

"It may be triple the market rates, but it's for a very small fraction of the energy requirements going forward," says Miller. "And I think it's worth the initial investment on the beginning of a groundbreaking project."

An attorney representing two manufacturers says the deal would harm commerce in the state.

Representative Lawrence Ehrhardt is opposed to the entire project. He says he's not against seeking alternative energy sources; it's just that this project is too expensive.

"The fact of the matter is, that this state in today's market can purchase all of the renewable energy it wants to from existing or planned facilities," says Ehrhardt.

The plan is to build an eight-turbine wind farm off Block Island.

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