Processors join forces to tilt at offshore wind energy project


Two plastics processors with plenty of "green cred" filed a joint petition to stop construction of an offshore wind energy facility. The clash in Rhode Island has made allies of the two processors, Toray Plastics and PolyTop, as well as a local environmental group, the Rhode Island chapter of the Conservation Law Foundation, which also has filed an appeal to halt building of the new site.

The case has had widespread coverage in the local press, including in articles here and here, and brings together a host of hot-button issues including renewable energy versus the cost for it; job creation and the cost of it; and the potential of the windmills to blow away the region's tourism industry. Add in "not in my backyard," plus an angry attorney general, and you have the makings for a real slugfest.

Earlier this month, the state's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved a plan for the state's largest utility, called National Grid, to purchase energy form the new wind power site. A company called Deepwater Wind hopes to build a 6-8-windmill site off the shore of Block island, RI. The Commission approved a plan to 20-year contract by which Deepwater will sell electricity for $0.244/kWh to National Grid....
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