By Chris Barrett
PBN Staff Writer
NORTH KINGSTOWN – Deepwater Wind and Quonset Development Corporation have agreed, in principle, to continue an agreement reserving land at Quonset Business Park for the wind farm developer.
In June 2009, Providence-based Deepwater Wind inked an option to lease 117 acres envisioned as a staging area for its planned wind farms.
The agreement continues in yearlong segments as long as the developer continues to refine plans for the three parcels of land, Deepwater Chief Development Officer Paul Rich said. Since the developer has met with that requirement, the option to lease will continue for another 12 months.
Deepwater will continue to make quarterly payments of $37,500 as required under the initial agreement, Rich said.
Separately, Deepwater will make a $50,000 payment to QDC to assist the quasi-governmental agency in planning for the developer’s anticipated arrival.
“It's incumbent on us to continue moving site development forward and we’re doing that with full cooperation with QDC and trying to further analyze the use of the sites,” Rich said Wednesday.
Rich said he expected the planning effort by QDC and Deepwater to last four months.
Deepwater has long said its establishment of a staging and assembly area at Quonset would position the park to become a hub of the offshore wind industry buttressed by its plans to construct two farms off the coast.
The first farm, slated for off Block Island, has been tied up in court. The R.I. Supreme Court is slated to decide soon whether the contract governing the sale of power from the wind farm is fair. Deepwater has said it wants the farm of five to six turbines on line by the end of 2012. On Wednesday, Rich said the developer may miss that target depending on when the court issues its ruling.
A second farm with 200 turbines would come years later.