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AEP funding arrives for local wind turbines

February 16, 2011

Photo by Matt Wunsch

A wind turbine located at Salty Brine Beach in Galilee.

NARRAGANSETT – South County will become more energy efficient with the $240,000 in funding the Attorney General Patrick F. Kilmartin directed for the completion of the 100 kilowatt wind turbine at Fisherman's Memorial State Campground and the construction of a wind turbine at the East Matunuck State Beach facility.

Amy Kempe, the public information officer for the attorney general said the $240,000 is part of the 2007 multi-state settlement agreement with American Electric Power Service (AEP), which constructed and modified 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, such as 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.Next year's funding will be the last. It will be another $240,000, the project for which is yet to be determined.

Kempe said Kilmartin pushed for the funding to be directed to constructing the new turbines to save energy and money.
“The Attorney General believes that using alternative energy resources for state facilities will reduce emissions and save tax payers money on taxes paid for those facilities,” Kempe said.

“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," Kilmartin said in a press release.

For more information pick up a copy of The Narragansett Times.

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