Monday, December 31, 2012
A look back at the biggest news stories from 2012 in North Kingstown.
From union battles to elections to a 413-foot turbine to hurricanes, 2012 kept us busy. With 2013 on the horizon, we've decided to take a look back at the biggest stories from the past year. In a controversial 3-2 vote, the North Kingstown Town Council passed a new ordinance that mandated 24-hour shifts for the town's firefighters and made other significant changes to their schedules and pay. The ordinance moved firefighters from 10- and 14-hour shifts to 24 shifts and upped their weekly work schedule from 42 to 56 hours per week. According to Town Manager Michael Embury, the change could save the district $1.2 million in the first year. Since its passage, Local 1651 (the NK firefighters' union) has battled the change in letters, public …
Monday, December 17, 2012
North Kingstown's 413-foot turbine is almost fully operational.
This past weekend, North Kingstown's 413-foot wind turbine underwent its final commissioning and is now fully operational. The turbine was erected this past October and, since then, has been in a test mode for the past few months as crews monitor it. According to Mark DePasquale, owner of the turbine and its developer (Wind Energy Development LLC in North Kingstown), the turbine was monitored for 200 hours check its power curve (i.e. how much power it's generating) and to "break it in." Now, the 200 hours are up and the turbine is expected to start generating power. "If it's not running, it's because there's not enough wind in the area," said DePasquale, who added he is extremely happy with the project thus far. The wind turbine is a …
Thursday, October 18, 2012
A controversial, 413-foot wind turbine is near completion.
The newest addition to the North Kingstown skyline will be completed by the middle of next week. According to Mark DePasquale of Wind Energy Development LLC, construction will finish on a 413-foot wind turbine in his backyard in North Kingstown Green off Ten Rod Road by Wednesday. The tower and nacelle (with a height of about 262 feet) of the wind turbine are already erected, but the turbine’s 134-foot-long blades will be added to the structure in the coming days. The 413-foot, 1.5 megawatt Goldwind turbine will be the first turbine lined up for installation by developer Wind Energy Development LLC, based in North Kingstown. According to DePasquale, upwards of 134 workers have helped with the construction of the wind turbine. The workers…
Thursday, June 14, 2012
A 413-foot tall wind turbine is scheduled for completion this September.
North Kingstown’s most controversial 413-foot structure is set to grace the South County skyline this fall. Construction on a wind turbine at North Kingstown Green off Ten Rod Road should be complete in September, according to the developer Mark DePasquale. 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 …
Friday, December 16, 2011
Nine DEM sites will have solar panels installed by the end of February 2012.
The state’s Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has received $1.5 million in federal funds to install solar panels at nine DEM locations, including Lafayette Fish Hatchery in North Kingstown. The funds come as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) and will be used to help offset electricity costs at the nine facilities. The majority of these panels, 40 inches wide and 66 inches long, will be mounted on existing roof structures. The number of panels will depend on the size of the installation at each site. The total anticipated electricity savings between the nine sites is about $50,000 annually. DEM targeted nine facilities that both required a substantial amount of energy fore operations and would provide an …
Thursday, December 15, 2011
From turbines to geothermal wells to solar farms, what type of renewable energy would you like to see North Kingstown pursue.
Unless you've taken up residence under a rock somewhere (or have been engrossed in catching up on all the seasons of Dexter), you know that renewable energy has become a hot button issue, especially here in North Kingstown. For more than a year, a pair of 400-foot wind turbines proposed for installation in North Kingstown have come under heavy scrutiny and seen sizable public outcry. Just four months after the approval of a new wind energy law, the North Kingstown Town Council set a moratorium on all wind systems taller than 50 feet after said outcry. With the town seeking to prohibit all wind systems, pending further study from statewide planning, the fate of wind energy in North Kingstown is up in the air. (No pun intended.) Then there's…
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
The North Kingstown Town Council took steps to consider a solar energy laws in town.
North Kingstown once again may be eyeing renewable energy laws. This time, it won’t concern wind turbines. Monday night, the North Kingstown Town Council took steps toward the consideration of a solar energy ordinance. Councilors reviewed a memorandum from Planning Director Jon Reiner, outlining guidelines and regulations from other cities and towns in the country. “We’re going to take a more conservative approach at first, looking at industrial pieces [for siting],” said Reiner. Findings from the Renewable Energy Siting Partnership (RESP) may also factor in the creation of a solar energy ordinance. The RESP initiative is designed to develop science-based statewide guidelines for where renewable energy projects are appropriate and how …
Monday, December 5, 2011
Stakeholders met last week, and you can get more details on planned renewable energy guidelines at upcoming local and online information events
“We don’t have a lot of energy resources in Rhode Island.” That nutshell assessment by facilitator Marion Gold capped the fourth stakeholder meeting of the Renewable Energy Siting Partnership Dec. 1. It also reminded the 60-plus attendees why the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources is investing months and money in extracting public input on alternative energy development. The RESP gathering, held at the University of Rhode Island Narragansett Bay campus, was led by Gold, director of the URI Outreach Center, and Jennifer McCann, director of extension programs at the URI Sea Grant program. The Outreach Center and Sea Gant are managing the RESP project. The most recent meeting featured presentations on measuring wind turbine noise and …
Monday, November 21, 2011
Five things to know for Nov. 21.
Tonight, the North Kingstown Town Council meets at 6:30 p.m. at Beechwood Center. On tonight's agenda, the council will hold a public hearing on changes to the town’s comprehensive plan amendment regarding wind energy systems. The town is looking to prohibit all wind energy systems until the completion of studies by the state. Also on tonight’s agenda, the council will consider an act authorizing $34.2 million for sewers and sewage systems in town. The Belles of Beechwood are back today. Today's 2 p.m. meeting will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, so bring your favorite holiday dessert and recipe to share. Tomorrow night, the North Kingstown School Committee meets at 7 p.m. at North Kingstown High School. On the agenda, the school …
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Five things to know for Sept. 20.
This article was updated at 3:15 p.m. to reflect a change in the time for Tuesday night's planning commission meeting. The original version of this article listed the time as 7 p.m. It has been changed to 7:30 p.m.