R.I. agency approves transfer of Deepwater cables to National Grid

The R.I. Division of Public Utilities and Carriers has approved the sale of Deepwater Wind’s cable transmission system for the five-turbine Block Island Wind Farm to National Grid for $9.5 million, according to an order by the state agency Wednesday. More

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R.I. agency approves transfer of Deepwater cables to National Grid

BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/CHRIS RATCLIFFE
THE R.I. DIVISION OF Public Utilities and Carriers has approved National Grid's proposal to take over construction of the transmission system for Deepwater Wind's Block Island project.
Posted 4/2/14

PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Division of Public Utilities and Carriers has approved the sale of Deepwater Wind’s cable transmission system for the five-turbine Block Island Wind Farm to National Grid for $9.5 million, according to an order by the state agency Wednesday.

“The transmission facilities purchase agreement filed by National Grid with the PUC on March 13 is hereby consented to … and National Grid and Deepwater Transmission are free to execute the agreement,” according to the order signed by PUC Administrator Thomas F. Ahern.

One condition of the approval is that National Grid will not begin installation of the underwater portion of the transmission system until Deepwater Wind has verified by a third party, who will report to the Coastal Resources Management Council, that the fabrication of the jacket foundation structures that will support the wind turbine generators has begun.

The approval was done under an “instant consent process” that springs from a 2010 amendment to the state’s “Long-Term Contracting Standard for Renewable Energy” laws, according to the order, which said the terms and pricing of the agreement are “reasonable.”

Negotiations on the agreement began in 2012. National Grid told Providence Business News previously the power company “… and its affiliates are in the business of constructing transmission projects and, specifically, have experience with constructing submarine cables.”

“Because we are the primary electric utility company in Rhode Island, and we have the expertise, we feel it’s extremely important we take on the project so the people of Rhode Island know it’s going to be done successfully,” National Grid said.

The $9.5 million purchase price includes development Deepwater Wind has already done on the cable transmission system from Block Island to the mainland. Under the agreement, permits issued for the project will be transferred to National Grid.

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