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National Grid, R.I. wind firm in deal

Associated Press / December 10, 2009

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PROVIDENCE - National Grid struck a 20-year deal with wind developer Deepwater Wind that will help a small proposed wind project off the coast of Rhode Island move forward, Governor Don Carcieri said yesterday.

The utility agreed to buy power from the wind farm, which is proposed for up to eight turbines built off the coast of Block Island, for 24.4 cents per kilowatt hour in the first full year of operation.

The deal is important because it secures a buyer for power the project would generate.

“Investing in renewable energy reduces our exposure to the volatility of energy prices on the world market, and this agreement establishes confidence in the financial feasibility of the project,’’ Carcieri said in a written statement.

Carcieri, a Republican, has set a goal of getting 15 percent of the state’s energy from wind.

He and other supporters of the project also say it will help fuel a renewable power industry and create jobs badly needed in Rhode Island.

The deal must still be approved by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission.