The EPA cited Block Island Power for installing eight new diesel generators without obtaining necessary permits during 1981 through 1993. EPA took Block Island Power to court and in a consent decree, filed in U.S. District Court in Boston January 28, 1998, requires Block Island Power to eliminate or upgrade pollution-causing generators on Block Island and pay a civil penalty of $90,000.
Block Island Power was already pursuing plans to install an underwater transmission cable, which was approved by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission summer of 1997. The cable will allow the company to get its electricity from the mainland instead of relying on diesel generators on the island. The consent decree requires that the cable be installed and operating by December 30, 2000. Should the cable project be delayed, Block Island Power would have to install state-of-the-art pollution control technology on the generators to cut nitrogen oxide emissions by 90-95%.
No cable installed and operating by December 30, 2000 by Block Island Power so did they install costly smoke stack scrubbers as required by EPA?
Block Island residents would have had to foot the bill for the Block Island Power undersea cable.
In steps Deepwater Wind with offshore 30 MW wind project and two way undersea cable to mainland to sell extra power to National Grid. Deepwater Wind indicates they can power 90% of Block Island with wind project and make up 10% from National Grid via cable.
Block Island Power gets a mainland cable and all rate payers in Rhode Island pay for cable plus annual COLA.
Power from wind turbines is constantly fluctuating power and must be de-rated. 30 MW de-rated 40% = 12 MW continuous power and Block Island requires about 6 MW with 6 MW sold to National Grid.
Besides getting to build first offshore demonstration wind project in U.S.A. Deepwater Wind gets a cover from National Grid via the undersea cable to supply major power to Block Island.
One MAJOR PROBLEM is NO commercial electric utility company public or private in the world has tested their legacy electrical grid built for firm-fixed power to see and record how much fluctuating alternate energy can be allowed on the grid before grid trip out. The current commercial utility company de-facto standard is 15% not 90% as Deepwater Wind assumes.
The U.S. Department of Energy in partnership with State of Hawaii, Hawaii Electric Company and two international countries currently are doing that test in State of Hawaii over the next two years.