The East Bay Engery Consortium will continue its push for a renewable energy project at the Tiverton Industrial Park, though conversations will likely stall until after November elections, according to reports from EcoRI News.
At the consortium's July 16 meeting members discussed refocusing plans around new state zoning guidelines for wind turbines, which includes cutting the number of turbines from 10 down to 5 and installing solar arrays in the 177-acre industrial park. EBEC planners reportedly said the changes would still allow for a profitable project.
Thomas Moses, legal counsel to the consortium, said the regional municipal collaborative was defeated this spring because of an outcry from local Tea Party activists and a letter from Gov. Lincoln Chafee to become a public-private entity, according the the EcoRI News report.
Moses said opposition to the 10-turbine project in Tiverton originally arose from a provision in the legislation that sought the power of eminent domain - which some represented as a government power grab, said EcoNews RI. The bill died after revisions dropped the eminent domain provision, but placed EBEC under the umbrella of the state Economic Development Corporation just as the agency began to unravel around the collapse of 38 Studios.
We got hit by a tsunami," Moses told EcoRI News at the Monday night meeting in Bristol. "Who would have predicted the 38 Studios situation."
EBEC was formed in 2009 with the intent to reduce municipal costs by collaborating on energy-saving projects and leveraging the buying power of its nine communities. The consortium continues to work on other initiatives to help cut energy costs in the region.