Updated March 29 at 6:27pm

Electricity from Deepwater Wind farm comes with $409M premium


WARWICK – Electricity from a wind farm planned for off of Block Island could come with a higher cost premium than previously estimated, according to National Grid.

In a filing with the R.I. Public Utilities Commission, the utility said that depending on the forecasting model used, electricity from the Deepwater Wind farm would cost $409 million or $415 million more than power from traditional sources such as natural gas plants. Previously, National Grid pegged the above-market cost at $390 million.

In the filing, National Grid cautioned that last week’s estimate represented a “snapshot in time, and we would expect [that] a long-term forecast would fluctuate each time the forecast is performed over the course of six months to a year.”

National Grid said changes in natural gas price forecasts primarily drove the change in the estimated price of electricity from the wind farm. As the price of natural gas has fallen, the gap between electricity generated with it and the contracted price for Deepwater Wind electricity has grown wider.

The price of electricity from the wind farm has been controversial. After the utilities commission approved a contract between National Grid and Deepwater Wind, two plastics manufacturers sued seeking to block the deal. The companies – Polytop Corp. and Toray Plastics (America) Inc. – said the contract would add millions of dollars more to their electric bills each year. Last week, the R.I. Supreme Court said the companies had legal standing to challenge the approval and allowed the lawsuit to continue.

“We are pleased that the court has agreed to review the merits of the PUC’s majority approval of this power-purchase agreement, especially in light of the fact that National Grid has recently updated its estimate of the above-market cost of this project to Rhode Island ratepayers from $390 million to between $409 million and $415 million,” said Mike McElroy, a lawyer for Toray and Polytop.


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There are severl facts that should be taken into account when reading the above.

Wind farms such as the DW group proposes are a proven method to reduce fossil fuel production and all the resulting pollution. REDUCTION is the key word. Not solution to our overuse of fossil fuel.

Wind Farm production costs per KWH as projected currently are consistent. They will not increase. Can big power claim that of fossil fuel? Nat Gas is currently low in cost due to a glut from fracking - which creates its own set of pollution.

Nat Gas cost per mbtu will rise as the commodity market seeks to match fossil fuel prices and the economy recovers.

The wind blows constantly here in this area - mega capacity offshore in wind energy and all located near the population centers where it is needed.

Wind farms CREATE new industry and jjobs. Additonal NEW high wage construction and service jobs. Not low wage factory jobs making plastic out of petroleum.

The filers of appeals in RI Supremem court are only concerned about their net profit and that is the objective behind filing. Nothing in any way for the "Common Good". Its about their current profits and share price. They could care less about pollution reduction. By the way - both of these companies are plastic manufacuters who generate numerous waste streams from their production. They use petroleum feed stock for their production and are looking for any and all ways to reduce expenses to maintin their value to shareholders. One of the them is a Japanese owned company that EXPORTS PROFITS out of the country. Granted there are jobs in N. Kingston but most of the money leaves the area. So why do they get a vote when it comes to the future of RI?

Why are we waiting?

Monday, April 25, 2011 | Report this

This is probably still leaving the cost of the one or more underwater power cables that has never been figured into the estimates as if the tooth fairy was providing it.

Monday, April 25, 2011 | Report this
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