Satchell urges support of West Warwick wind turbine investment
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Adam Satchell is urging West Warwick voters to support a proposal for the town to purchase three wind turbines to provide power to municipal buildings, saying the plan will provide significant long-term savings while also reducing the municipality’s environmental impact.
On May 21, West Warwick voters will be asked as part of the town’s all-day referendum to authorize $18 million in bonds to fund three 1.5 MW turbines to power all municipal and school buildings in the town, including Town Hall, the police and fire stations, the library, all schools, the transfer station, the sewer plant and possibly the senior center, should voters also approve a separate ballot question to acquire it.
Senator Satchell (D-Dist. 9, West Warwick) said he supports the proposal because generating its own clean, renewable energy would provide West Warwick significant savings in power costs in the years to come.
“Turbines are a smart investment because we know they will save our community millions in the long term, and because, by creating our own energy, we won’t be subject to the volatile shifts in the energy market that can cause huge, unpredictable price increases at times,” said Senator Satchell. “Of course, generating our energy locally from wind will also reduce our municipality’s environmental impact. This is an investment that will pay multiple dividends, and I hope the voters will support it.”
An independent consultant projects the investment will result in $8.5 million in savings in its first 10 years. The town is projected to save $44 million over the turbines’ anticipated 25-year useful life, assuming a conservative 4.5-percent annual increase in electric rates over the life of a 25-year bond.
Although they would be owned by the Town of West Warwick and all the power they produce would belong to the town, the turbines would be located in western Coventry, near Piggy Lane and Perry Hill Road, on private land that would be leased by the town for 25 years, with renewal options. The turbines, which would be under warranty for 10 years and are expected to have a useful life of about 25 years, would be built and maintained by VENSYS Energy AG.
Senator Satchell said he hopes, if voters approve the bonds for the turbines, their construction will help attract green businesses to West Warwick.
“If we take the initiative to generate all of the town’s power locally through renewable sources, we can send a message to businesses that are similarly committed to the environment that West Warwick is a good place for them, where their tax dollars will be supporting an environmentally responsible municipal government,” said Senator Satchell.
The all-day referendum is Thursday, May 21, and registered West Warwick voters may cast their votes from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at a single location, the West Warwick Civic Center, 100 Factory St.
For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903