North Kingstown’s most controversial 413-foot structure is set to grace the South County skyline this fall. Construction on a wind turbine at .
The 413-foot, Goldwind turbine will be the first of six turbines lined up for installation by developer Wind Energy Development LLC, based in North Kingstown. Currently, DePasquale and his company are developing two in Coventry, two more in Westerly and another in North Smithfield – all on town property. According to DePasquale, Coventry alone could save upwards of $17 million in energy savings over the next 20 years, with 9 million kilowatt hours use per year from the turbines.
The . North Kingstown Planning Commission approved the project in fall 2010. Around the same time, the North Kingstown Town Council passed a . That ordinance has since been while a has been instituted until statewide planning offers its guidelines on wind energy systems. (The North Kingstown Green application was approved under the previous ordinance and before the moratorium and is not subject to the ban.)
Since September 2010, the turbine (and its sister project, ) has been the subject of sizable public outcry due to its size, safety concerns and location in residential area.
The turbine – which was originally slated to be 427 feet tall – is identical to the trio of 365-feet tall turbines in Providence – operated by the Narragansett Bay Commission – said DePasquale. (The Providence turbines were modified to be shorter in order to align with FAA regulations, said DePasquale. All four turbines are all manufactured by Goldwind.)
An earlier version posted the incorrect height of the turbine and incorrect savings for Coventry.