Energy + Environment

State offshore wind RFP: If at first you don’t succeed, try try again

BY: - September 28, 2023

After an initial attempt to buy more offshore wind power through a competitive solicitation failed, state leaders are trying again. Gov. Dan McKee on Thursday announced that the state, through utility operator Rhode Island Energy, will issue a new request for proposals (RFP) to buy up to 1,200 megawatts of wind-powered electricity. The news comes […]

PUC approves scaled-down ‘smart meter’ plan from RI Energy

BY: - September 28, 2023

Smart meters that allow people to monitor their energy usage in real time – and help the utility company track and fix outages faster – are coming to Rhode Island under a plan approved by utility regulators on Wednesday. The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission’s 3–0 vote authorizes Rhode Island Energy to move ahead with […]

Decision on disputed Point Judith Pond oyster farm project postponed

BY: - September 27, 2023

Coastal regulators postponed a decision Tuesday on a disputed Point Judith Pond oyster farm. Instead, the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council opted to push a public hearing and decision two its Oct. 24 after the applicant and opposing neighbors put forth an eleventh-hour compromise agreement. The agreement, outlined in a two-page letter obtained by […]

Second lawsuit challenges R.I. shoreline access law

BY: - September 27, 2023

Less than a week after a federal judge threw out the first lawsuit against Rhode Island’s new shoreline access law, a new challenge has emerged. The Sept. 25  complaint from Westerly homeowners David and Linda Roth, and a limited liability company in their family’s name that owns adjacent property, again challenges the constitutionality of the […]

PUC approves 25% hike in winter electric rates despite protests

BY: - September 26, 2023

Despite warnings that a nearly 25% hike in winter electric rates would hurt financially struggling residents, state regulators approved Rhode Island Energy’s seasonal supply prices within minutes on Tuesday. The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) 3-0 vote authorizes the state’s primary electricity supplier to increase rates for a six-month period starting Oct. 1. New […]

Legislative panel on plastic bottle recycling to hold first meeting Wednesday

BY: - September 25, 2023

How to minimize the plastic bottles overflowing the state landfill and collecting along streets, sidewalks and beaches will be the focus of an 18-member legislative panel that kicks off this week. The 18-member Special Joint Legislative Commission to Study and Provide Recommendations to Protect Our Environment and Natural Resources from Plastic Bottle Waste will hold […]

Contested Point Judith Pond aquaculture farm heads to CRMC Tuesday

BY: - September 25, 2023

Another day, another aquaculture war. This time, the fight centers on just over half an acre in Narragansett’s Point Judith Pond, where shellfish farmer Andrew Van Hemelriijck wants to grow oysters and quahogs. But waterfront property owners say the aquaculture farm will make it harder, and even unsafe, for them to boat, fish and enjoy […]

R.I.’s carbon reduction plan is due in two months. Will there be time for public input?

BY: - September 25, 2023

Where’s the plan? That’s the question climate and transit advocates are posing to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) as it nears a Nov. 15 deadline to submit its carbon reduction plan (CRP) to the federal government. In a five-page letter dated Sept. 19 to RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, the group of 23 organizations […]

How the battle for a Barrington oyster farm upended the public hearing process

BY: - September 25, 2023

Six years, countless meetings and one court battle later, Barrington resident Ed Troiano has finally secured the approval needed to open a half-acre oyster farm in upper Narragansett Bay. But the public comment session leading into the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council’s (CRMC) 4-2 vote on Sept. 12 has opened the door to what […]

No simple walk on the beach: Scientists decipher shoreline access law for public in Charlestown

BY: - September 22, 2023

CHARLESTOWN – One line of seaweed lies up against the dunes at East Beach. A second is in the middle of the beach. A third line is near the water. Rhode Island’s new shoreline access law calls for using the seaweed line to measure public access. But which line would you use? That depends, Coastal […]

Federal court judge dismisses challenge to RI shoreline access law

BY: - September 20, 2023

Wrong court, wrong argument and against the wrong people. So declared U.S. District Court Judge William Smith in his Sept. 19 opinion dismissing a legal challenge to the state’s newly inked shoreline access law. Smith ultimately sided with state Attorney General Peter Neronha, who sought to have the lawsuit thrown out.  Smith’s reasoning, as laid […]

Will Mainers vote their two biggest utilities out?

BY: - September 19, 2023

Amid the dueling figures, the TV spots, door-knocking campaigns, demonstrations and recriminations, the fate of one of the most ambitious public power campaigns in modern U.S. history may come down to a simple question. Are Maine’s two largest electric utilities unpopular enough to be voted out and replaced with something brand new? On Nov. 7, […]