• Coastal Resources Management Council Chief: Wind farm appears to comply with RI plan

    From: Providence Journal

    Wed, Dec 08, 2010

    Grover Fugate, the executive director of the state Coastal Resources Management Council, said that preliminary information Deepwater Wind gave him about its new 200-turbine proposal appeared to show that it is consistent with the recently approved ocean zoning plan, known as the Special Area Management Plan (SAMP), that his agency coordinated.

    It is important that Deepwater’s proposal complies, because Rhode Island and Massachusetts agreed to use the SAMP as the guide to development in the waters where the project would be located.

    The section of Rhode Island Sound that Deepwater is interested in for its turbines is the subject of a memorandum of understanding between Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

    The 400-square-mile “area of mutual interest” (AMI) is divided into “blocks” for planning purposes. Deepwater’s wind farm would occupy portions of 30 blocks that total 270 square miles.

    Fugate said Deepwater notified the CRMC of the blocks it is considering. They were chosen to avoid geophysical obstructions, navigation channels and fishing grounds — all data collected as part of the SAMP.

    “We were aware of some areas they’ve been looking at,” Fugate said. “We knew that they were looking at the western boundary of the AMI and the southern boundary.”

    Asked if the proposal is consistent with the SAMP, he said, “From what I’ve seen so far, yes.”

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