Stakeholder meeting for route 2 and 102 intersection development plan

The first meeting of the stakeholder group will be held on Thursday, August 23, at 5:30 pm at the North Kingstown Senior Center.

An agenda and any informational materials will be posted in the next few days on the town’s calendar as well as on the following website:

http://www.northkingstown.org/visioning-process-routes-2-and-102

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Jon

Jonathan J. Reiner, AICP
Director of Planning and Community Development
Town of North Kingstown
55 Brown Street
North Kingstown, Rhode Island 02852
401-294-3331, Ext. 310
Fax 401-294-4052
jreiner@northkingstown.org
http://www.northkingstown.org

Posted in From the Presidents Desk, Meeting Notices, Neighborhood News | Leave a comment

Reminder – Lawn Watering Allowable Tuesday and Friday ONLY

Residents of Mountain Laurel Estates are reminded that during the months of July and August, watering of lawns using manual or automatic sprinklers is restricted to Tuesday and Friday ONLY. No watering of any type may take place during the hours of 10 AM to 2 PM. Flower and vegetable gardens may be watered by hand (hose or can) any day.

For more information, please see this link: Watering Information

A new tab has been added that will contain rainfall information in the future. Homeowners interested in water conservation may check this page for current rainfall information.

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Proposed Budget for 2012-2013

The proposed Budget for the Homeowner’s Association can be found HERE

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2012 Annual Meeting Notice

Just a reminder the meeting will be at the Masonic Lodge at 7pm on Thursday June 14. Hope to see you all there.

Posted in From the Presidents Desk, Meeting Notices, Urgent !!! | Leave a comment

Please clean up after your pets in common areas!

Reminder to all dog owners living within Mountain Laurel Estates: It is the responsibility of the individual dog owner to clean up after his/her dog. The Town will not do it and it is not the responsibility of the Home Owner’s Association. Don’t leave the dog’s mess behind as it is an eyesore as well as a health hazard. Show some consideration for yourselves, your neighborhood and your neighbors. Thank You.

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It’s official; Industrial-sized wind turbine to be built at NK Green later this year.

The board has received notice from the town that the turbine blades have been delivered to the NK Green and that they expect the remaining material to be delivered by September.

At this point it certainly appears that a Goldwind GW82, a 389 foot tall industrial unit (similar to the ones installed in the industrial area containing the docks, Oil Tanks, and sewer treatment plant in Providence’s “Fields Point”) will be installed in the RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD of NK Green, less than 500 feet from occupied homes — despite the problems that have been reported in Portsmouth, Fairhaven, and Falmouth with similar sized turbines located much future away from occupied homes.

Three remaining concerns, are: 1) Noise levels, 2) Shadow Flicker, and 3) Final TUV Certification. It remains unclear how the developer will keep the noise level below the town 50 dBA limit beyond the property line containing the turbine, what amount of Shadow Flicker will be experienced by homeowners in that neighborhood and the surrounding area, and if official certification of the Goldwind GW82 has ever been received (certification was “In Process”).

The closest homes in Mountain Laurel Estates to the NK Green Turbine are those closest to Route 4 and are approximately 4600 feet away. Those homeowners closer to Plain Rd are approximately 7300 feet away.

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Want to be part of RI’s Renewable Energy Siting Process?

RI is trying to figure out how to properly site all renewable generation projects. Part of that process includes getting input from the public. There is a meeting, detailed below, that is being held Thursday September 15th from 6 to 9 PM at the URI Costal Institute. The meeting is open to the public and comments will be invited. In fact correspondence inside the RESP says they aren’t hearing much feedback from the public at all.

If you are concerned about where someone can or can not put up a wind turbine, attending this meeting will provide a rare opportunity to share your opinions with the folks that are writing the new regulations for the state.

Rhode Islands new Renewable Energy Siting Partnership (RESP) project is
convening a stakeholder group under the auspices of the University of Rhode
Island (URI) on Thursday, September 15, 2011 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the
Hazard rooms at the URI Coastal Institute building on the Narragansett Bay
Campus. The meeting is open to the public, and all are welcome, as the goal
is to have a diverse and well-rounded stakeholder process. A light dinner
will be provided from 5:30-6:00 p.m. Please contact Amber Neville at
401.874.6106 or amber@crc.uri.edu if you plan to attend. Directions are
available at http://www.gso.uri.edu/about-gso/directions .

The State of Rhode Island and many of its communities are consider in
investing in renewable energy infrastructure. URI has been invited by the
state to provide technical expertise about the effects renewable energy
may have on the people, wildlife and natural resources of Rhode Island.
Based on this information, and through extensive public involvement, a URI
team of skilled professionals in the fields of energy, research and
planning will then develop guidelines that can be used by Rhode Islands
cities and towns to site and manage this new activity. Additionally, the
RESP project will make state and municipal energy information accessible
to the public through the creation of a comprehensive online energy database.

The RESP stakeholder process will provide a forum to engage key
constituencies and interested citizens. The stakeholder group members will
be able to voice their concerns and issues, provide thoughtful input, and
learn about renewable energy research in Rhode Island. They will also have
opportunities to preview tools the RESP project is developing to assist in
the analysis of land-based wind, water and solar energy issues.

The RESP is not an advocacy effort. It brings science and lessons learned
from other places to the table and builds on the multiple renewable energy
efforts underway in Rhode Island so municipalities and the state can make
informed, fact-based decisions.

For more information about the RESP project, contact Teresa Crean at
tcrean@crc.uri.edu or 401.874.6626, Danny Musher at dannymusher@uri.edu or
401.874.5705, or visit the web site at http://seagrant.gso.uri.edu/resp/

Posted in From the Presidents Desk, Meeting Notices, Windmills | Comments Off on Want to be part of RI’s Renewable Energy Siting Process?

So what is going on with NK Green?

Immediately prior to the town pulling the NK Green turbine permit for a second time, the applicant changed from the Vestas V100 turbine on the original permit application, the model that had been presented to the ZBR during the process of obtaining a special use permit, to a Chinese Goldwind 1.5 MW turbine. The town pulled the permit as a result of that change requesting more details. At least some of those requested items were supplied by the applicant, and the permit was reinstated.

The town solicitor is of the opinion that the change from a Vestas V100 turbine to the Goldwind GW87 is not significant enough to revoke the permit a third time. The town manager and solicitor have both received information that indicates another condition of the permit may be violated — that the noise level beyond lot 23 will be above the town limit. They have both publicly stated that should this happen, the town will pull the operating permit for the turbine — although it may be that a court would decide that a noise violation in the common/open space harms no one, and therefore would do nothing. Apparently the law is not the law unless there is someone there to be harmed?

So as of this point in time the applicant has the permit back and can continue construction of the foundation.

However, there is another issue. There is currently no proof in the hands of the solicitor that indicates that the turbine has been certified. The town has stated that no operation permit will be granted unless certification has been received. TUV, the international group that certifies many turbines has no record of the Goldwind GW87 turbine having been applied for as of May of 2011 (other Goldwind models are in the “pending” category, but none are listed as certified as of May of 2011).

In the words of the Town Council President, it is very likely that the construction of the NK Green turbine will be completed. As such she has tasked the working group with the responsibility of writing the codes and enforcement criteria to ensure that the turbine is operated in a safe manor consistent with the town laws.

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Why YOU should care about NK Village Green Wind Turbine

The NK Village Green Wind Turbine will be located about 3/4 of a mile from MLE.  So why should you care that there is a 427 foot tall Wind Turbine planned for that Neighborhood?

The reason is clearly visible looking East at the intersection of Autumn and Laurel Ridge.  If you look down the hill you can see less than a third of the construction crane being used to build the rail station poking above our neighborhood tree line.  That is almost the same distance and view that would be seen if the Wind Turbine was there — Except the Wind Turbine is FANTASTICALLY larger.

How high is the crane in the photo?  If the boom could be put straight up in the sky, it would be 213 feet tall to the tip.  However, you don’t operate a crane that way.  Today the crane was set to a 50 degree angle, which puts the top at 163 feet.  Coincidentally this is almost exactly how tall windmill at New England Tech is (157 feet actually).

If built, the VG Wind Turbine is going to be 2.6 times that tall.

In the photo below, approximately 50 vertical feet of the crane is visible above the tree line.  The other 113 feet is hidden by the trees.  The VG Wind Turbine is 427 feet tall.  So you have to imagine something that is another 260 feet taller than the tip of the crane, or more than six times as much crane poking above the trees. That is the approximate size of the windmill that has been added into the image.

View of V100 from corner of Autumn Dr and Laurel Ridge LN

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Benjamin C. Riggs Jr.: Wind power will cost R.I. dearly

Benjamin C. Riggs Jr.: Wind power will cost R.I. dearly
01:00 AM EDT on Sunday, April 24, 2011 PROJO

By Benjamin C. Riggs Jr.

Everyone I know in Rhode Island has the same goals: a cleaner planet overall and more employment here in our state. Unfortunately, all these renewed efforts by the General Assembly to further subsidize renewable energy, primarily in the form of wind turbines, will be detrimental to both. Here’s why.

Rhode Island needs to pursue economic development that is achievable and that builds on our strengths, which are mainly the marine trades, not wind farms.

Wind-turbine projects threaten the already fragile Rhode Island economy with extreme utility-rate increases that will hurt consumers and keep manufacturing businesses from expanding or locating here. Land-based wind turbines depend on subsidies at a rate of more than 12 times those given to the oil and gas sectors, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

In response to my complaint about how the wind turbine in Portsmouth is being subsidized by other ratepayers across the state, the attorney general’s office has stated that the “net metering” arrangement it depends on is unlawful. That’s because, for wholesale producers like Portsmouth, the reimbursement rate is set by federal law at the utilities’ “avoided cost.” A final ruling on this will follow at the state Division of Public Utilities, and the proper rate will be set later by the Public Utility Commission.

I filed this complaint because a system that results in one community’s profiting financially by taxing other communities is just plain wrong. Rhode Island’s citizens end up worse off overall, and yet somehow our General Assembly wants to expand these programs even further.

The problems with wind power are coming out of the closet, and have been a surprise to many of us. For example, it turns out wind power isn’t “green.” In fact, it creates significant, deadly ground pollution where the turbine magnet components are made (in China), while creating numerous environmental problems and risks when installed in non-industrial areas.

And, ironically, because conventional plants must ramp up and down to accommodate wind’s fickle nature, wind actually results in more fuel usage and carbon emissions that it saves. This is similar to what happens when you drive your car in stop-and-go traffic instead of on the highway.

Another surprise: Wind doesn’t replace foreign oil. Oil isn’t used to make electricity. And because wind can’t be counted on to produce power when it is needed, it won’t replace a single conventional power plant.

Will it save money? No, not now or even in the future. It costs two to three times more than conventional sources. And domestic natural gas supplies are increasing, with those costs continuing to go down, even while oil has gone up.

Because wind power drains money from our economy, it doesn’t, and won’t in the future, create jobs. It will actually cost jobs. The money, much of which will go overseas, will no longer be available to spend on food, clothing, shelter and medical care in Rhode Island.

Where does the money go? The $3 million or so for a wind turbine (which includes more than $1 million in taxpayer subsidies) goes to China, India, Germany and other places mostly outside Rhode Island. And all for a relatively small trickle of power.

What will this industry be like in 15 years? We can answer that by taking a look at Europe, which is well ahead of us. It’s been a disappointment. Spain is a good example. It has invested heavily in the renewable industry, and now is on the edge of financial collapse, with a 20 percent unemployment rate, the highest in the European Community.

Legislation before the General Assembly sets the reimbursement rates for developers and municipalities at the full retail rate. That triples those electric costs for National Grid (and us), and guarantees that if conventional power costs go up, the cost of wind power will go up with it. And when these wind turbines wear out, they will have to be removed and replaced at an even higher cost.

All this added expense directly reduces what consumers have left to spend — and consumer spending is two-thirds of our economy. It will also impact businesses from the flower shop on Main Street to the manufacturer at Quonset. Temporary jobs installing wind turbines are just that, temporary. And the real profits go overseas (even if it is to GE) and to a handful of developers reaping the benefits of misguided subsidies.

How can we improve our economy? If we really want economic growth, we need to focus on Rhode Island’s strengths. Whatever we do, let’s not ship any more jobs out of our state and our country.

Benjamin C. Riggs Jr., of Newport, is a retired Naval aviator and manufacturing executive who specialized in business management, acquisitions and development.

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