The $240,000 is part of the 2007 multi-state settlement agreement with American Electric Power Service (AEP), which constructed and modified numerous major electricity-generating facilities in the Ohio River valley without the permits required under the Clean Air Act.
Under the settlement, AEP paid a $15 million penalty and committed $60 million to perform or finance environmental mitigation projects, of which $24 million was distributed to eight states to fund pollution reduction, renewable energy, green building and other mitigation projects.
Rhode Island’s portion of the settlement was $1.2 million, distributed through five annual installments of $240,000 through 2012.
“As a state, we have made a commitment to reduce our energy costs at state-owned facilities through renewable energy projects. The wind turbine projects at Fisherman’s Memorial and East Matunuck take advantage of the strong winds along our coast, reduce emissions from traditional energy sources and save taxpayer dollars by reducing costs,” said Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin.
“The Department of Environmental Management is supportive of renewable energy projects, and wants to “walk the walk” when it comes to constructing appropriate-scale projects to power our state facilities,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “We are pleased that Attorney General Kilmartin is directing settlement funding toward these sustainable renewable energy projects at Fisherman’s Memorial State Campground and East Matunuck State Beach. This is a win-win situation where funds from the AEP Settlement will reduce our carbon footprint through use of wind power, and reduce the state’s energy costs at state facilities.” Director Coit added, “It is great to work with the new Attorney General on long-term forward-looking projects that benefit Rhode Island.”
Last year, Rhode Island received $240,000 for the installation of a 100 kW Wind Turbine at Fishermen’s Memorial State Campground that could produce 2/3 of the electricity to run the facility.
Due to the fact that the bids for this project were higher than expected and one of the anticipated funding sources became unavailable, additional funding is needed to complete the project.
The Office of the Attorney General requested the additional funds from AEP to ensure the completion of the project without delay.
It is estimated that the additional AEP funds that will be needed to complete this project will be approximately $156,000.
The balance of the requested $240,000 for 2011 that is not used for the Fisherman’s Memorial Wind Turbine will be used to help fund a wind turbine project at the East Matunuck State Beach Facility.
That project includes the construction of a 10 kW Bergey Wind Turbine on a 120′ monopole tower that is expected to produce around 18,000 kWhrs per year and provide about 30% of the energy to run the beach facility.
This beach facility is in an excellent wind resource along the southern Rhode Island coastline.
The State plans to use the balance of this request to pay for part of the estimated $125,000 construction cost.